With a population of more than 1.2 billion, India is the world’s largest democracy. Over the past decade, the country’s integration into the global economy has been accompanied by economic growth. India has now emerged as a global player.
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Visiting project officials from the states interacted with senior government officials from Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Kerala as well as civil society organizations on the nitty-gritties of planning and implementing... Show More + rural water and sanitation projects in their respective states.The interactions focused on “how-to” enhance the accountability, transparency and sustainability of various schemes and programs. Strong leadership, good collaboration across various levels of government officials and regular communication with stakeholders were recognized as key ingredients for successful implementation of policy reforms in projects. “Project presentations highlighting different aspects of decentralized approaches to water and sanitation service delivery were well worth the time spent, especially for beginners like us who are now implementing similar approaches in our states," said VK Shrivastava, Executive Engineer, Public Health Department, BiharThe knowledge exchange was p Show Less -
WASHINGTON, November 18, 2013 – Access to improved sanitation can increase cognition in children, according to a new World Bank study. The study contributes to a growing body of research linking stunting... Show More + and open defecation. Currently, more than 2.5 billion people worldwide lack access to toilets, and one billion people practice open defecation. The recent World Bank policy research working paper, Effects of Early-Life Exposure to Sanitation on Childhood Cognitive Skills, released ahead of the first official UN World Toilet Day on November 19, studied the effects on childhood cognitive achievement of early life exposure to India’s Total Sanitation Campaign, a national scale government program that encouraged local governments to build and promote use of inexpensive pit latrines.“Our research showed that six-year-olds who had been exposed to India’s sanitation program during their first year of life were more likely to recognize letters and simple numbers on learning tests than tho Show Less -
Collaborative Knowledge, Learning and Innovation as Key AcceleratorsIt is an honor to be here, and to follow the steps of Jim Yong Kim, World Bank Group President, who spoke at this Forum last year.I want... Show More + to talk to you about ending poverty -- more specifically, since this is the World Knowledge Forum, I want to talk about how a collaborative approach to Knowledge, Learning and Innovation can become a powerful accelerator in our collective drive to end poverty.The Ganga ProblemBut first, I want to start with a story from my home country, India. The story is about the river Ganges.The Ganges is a sacred river, worshipped by Hindus as the Mother Ganga. The Ganga’s waters are considered to be so pure and sacred that, when you bathe in them, it cleanses you of all your sins. The Ganga River provides 25% of India’s water resources. More than 2500 kilometers long, it is the most heavily populated river basin in the world. For 400 million people, mostly very poor people, life and survival dep Show Less -
Geeta Bhogan remembers the time not so long ago when all 15 members of her husband’s extended family took turns to fetch water from the borewell a long distance from their home in Bekkinakeri village,... Show More + in Karnataka’s Belgaum district. They would ride a bullock cart in groups of 4, making a number of trips a day to fetch the 50 pots of water they needed to survive, and to care for the family’s 5 cows and buffaloes. While these 2 km trips were difficult at the best of times, they were even more arduous in the searing summer heat of northern Karnataka. “The unfailing grind made the men late for work in the mornings and took a toll on everyone’s health,” Geeta recalls. “We fell sick more often due to this never-ending strain.”Today, Bhogan’s family no longer needs to make this onerous journey. Thanks to the Karnataka Government’s Jal Nirmal Project, supported by the World Bank, the family now has a water connection within their home. 23 year old Geeta, near full term in her second pregnancy Show Less -
Being waylaid when you really need to get to the toilet can be very annoying. That’s exactly the approach taken by the Bekkinakeri village council to change the entrenched habit of village elders of defecating... Show More + in open fields.Since persuasion had not worked in dissuading these recalcitrant elders, the council introduced the novel idea of a ‘Good Morning Walk’. Early in the morning, when the elders routinely set off towards the fields, pot of water in hand, they would accost them with a cheery ‘Good Morning’, thus frustrating their efforts to defecate in the open. It took up to six months of repeated ambushes before the elders finally gave up and opted to use a toilet instead. The idea has clearly paid off. Today, Bekkinakeri village in the state of Karnataka, India is free from open defecation and has won the “Nirmal Gram Puruskar” – a national award for maintaining village hygiene. It is looked upon as a “superstar” among its neighbors for its good sanitation and easy access to w Show Less -
The urban populations of Africa and South Asia will double in the next 20 years, intensifying today’s challenges of housing, transportation, sanitation, and public health in cities. Cities that are growing... Show More + quickly have transport, service, and housing infrastructure strains. They also face new environmental, health, poverty, and crime policy challenges.These challenges are particularly striking in the developing world, where 90 percent of urban growth is taking place. At the same time, urban areas generate 70 percent of the world's GDP, and, by 2050 will account for 70 percent of its population. Thriving cities are associated with economic growth, improved quality of life, and creativity.With only about 30 percent of population in cities, South Asia is the least urbanized region of the world (the rate being 40 percent in Africa). Yet the economic transition is well under way, with industries and services accounting for over two-thirds of the region’s economy and over 80 percent of the e Show Less -