RB, a leading consumer health and hygiene company, in partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and EY have launched a highly innovative Hygiene Index program. The announcement was made at the Global Citizen Festival organised in Mumbai where millions of people gathered to support key global issues including hygiene and sanitation. The initiative has been taken to support of the Government of India’s flagship sanitation initiative Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
Complementing RB’s Banega Swachh India campaign, the Hygiene Index focuses on six sectors – water, solid waste, sewerage, toilet, health and behaviour change communication. The Index will be calculated for more than 100 cities based on primary and secondary data collection and stakeholder consultations.
In the first phase, 10 cities including Pune, Nagpur, Bhubaneswar, NDMC, Varanasi, Vizag, and Udaipur —will be analysed by January 2017. Using the tool, the performance of the cities will be benchmarked and easily comparable, along with analysis of the best practices adopted.
This will include the development of an investment heatmap for all the cities depicting investments made by various departments. An Annual City Hygiene Award Programme will also be held at the end of the year to felicitate the best performing cities.
Speaking on the occasion Mr. Nitish Kapoor, Regional Director – RB South Asia said, “At RB, our constant endeavor is to do our bit in bringing a behavioural change in health and hygiene practices. The hygiene index released today will further strengthen our cause by providing a targeted approach.” It is interesting to note that RB has reached out to more than 8.1 million people in India through its various engagement programs by working closely at the grassroots level to spread awareness around cleanliness and hygiene.
Elaborating on the partnership and the U.S. Government’s commitment to help advance India’s goal for universal sanitation coverage, Idris Diaz, USAID Deputy MissionDirector to India, said, ‘The United States partners with the Government of India, public and private stakeholders to improve access to clean drinking water and promote water, sanitation and hygiene best practices. We are inspired to see so many people at the Global Citizen Festival today taking action to improve water and sanitation conditions in India.”
The Hygiene Index is being developed as a monitoring tool to help the government assess the hygiene status of their cities and identify areas that need improvement. An ‘Ideation Lab’ is also supporting the program that will provide key technical data and direction to the program. This ‘Ideation Lab’ comprises members from research institutes, health institutes, multi-lateral donor agencies, and various government agencies.
Image by V. Agafonkin via Flickr