Information, Education and Communication
Information, Education and Communication (IEC) are important components of the TSC. In the past supply driven CRSP was implemented under which large number of toilets have been constructed. Unfortunately, this massive effort could not achieve the desirable success, as the toilets were not put to use largely due to lack of demand, lack of participation in programme implementation and, lack of awareness among the community regarding health and hygiene aspects of safe drinking water and clean sanitation facilities. There is an increasing realization that, in any water and sanitation programmes, continued access to water and sanitation services is not enough to sustain hygienic behaviours. It is the awareness and the education component of a sanitation programme that leads to sustained behavioral change. Experience has shown that information, education, and communication (IEC) campaigns involving communities and grassroots organizations can accelerate the process of change and hasten the adoption of sanitary practices. However these efforts must include addressing sociocultural attitudes toward owning a household toilet. The intensity of the hygiene promotion and education is important in leading to sustained practices. Intensive hygiene activities also use different channels to reach people such as community meetings, home visits, contacts in classes, traditional media, different IEC materials etc. It is very important to know which strategies to adopt for hygiene promotion and education in a particular situation, which will help people continue safe practices after an intervention has ended.
Under TSC, the emphasis is to educate the public; create awareness among them regarding good health and proper hygiene; provide solutions to areas in need; build alliances with likeminded organizations and the community as a whole; and create long term success by facilitating community involvement and ownership. IEC activities under TSC are area and culture specific, involve all sections of the rural population, in a manner, focusing on different various aspects of the programme, including creating willingness of the people to construct latrines, providing information on different designs, cost and technical options, environmental sanitation aspects, use and maintenance of structures, and above all it is aimed at changing hygiene behaviours, for sustained impacts of improved water and sanitation conditions.
A national communication strategy and plan has been developed by Government of India giving emphasis on inter personal communication at the grassroots level. As part of this strategy motivators can be engaged at the village level for demand creation and taking up behaviour change communication. The motivator can be given suitable incentive from the funds earmarked for IEC. The incentive will be performance based i.e. in terms of motivating the number of households and schools/ Anganwadis to construct latrines and soakage pits and also use the same subsequently. Few activities under IEC include wall painting on a community building or hoardings to display different messages, print and audio visual materials including flip charts, posters, manuals, picture booklets, radio jingles, films and documentaries, mass media like kala jathas etc. IEC funding will be in the ratio of 80:20 between GOI and the State Governments and the total IEC cost should not be less than 15 per cent of the project. Each project district should prepare a detailed IEC action plan with defined strategies to reach all sections of the community. Funds available under IEC may be used for imparting hygiene education to the people as well as children in schools.