Social accountability in rural drinking water supply - Need inputs, examples and case studies

From Aanandi Mehra, Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH, Shimla

Posted 7 May 2010

I am working with the Capacity Building of Panchayati Raj Institutions project in Himachal Pradesh. This is part of the Indo German Bilateral Co-operation, (GTZ) project in collaboration with the Himachal Pradesh state government departments of Irrigation and Public Health (IPH) and the Panchayati Raj. 

As part of the project, we are designing social accountability mechanisms/social audits for rural drinking water supply sector as suggested in the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) guidelines. I request members of the Water Community to provide us inputs on the following:

  • Are there any examples from the field which show what social accountability mechanisms/social audits are being practiced in rural drinking water supply?
  • Are there any studies available that document the impact of these social audits on rural drinking water supply?
  • How can social accountability mechanisms/social audit in rural water supply be institutionalised, and how can it be done as per the NRDWP 2009 guidelines?

The NRDWP 2009 guidelines refer to social audits for rural water supply and these guidelines are being followed in all states of India. I am hoping this query will also clarify the term itself in the broader sense and bring out examples across the country. It will also help us design these mechanisms for the state.

Please see attachment below for the responses.