Opinion Piece Argues Political Leadership, Flexibility Of Implementation Behind Success Of India’s Sanitation Mission

Quartz India: Clean India Mission shows that flexibility is key to even poo healthy
Cristina Bicchieri, SJP Harvie professor and director of Master of Behavioral & Decision Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania

“…Complementing infrastructure-led investments with sustained behavioral change interventions, India has had unprecedented progress towards eliminating open defecation. … It all began with prime minister Narendra Modi launching a campaign called the Swachh Bharat Mission or the ‘Clean India Mission.’ … Swachh Bharat Mission is a great example of the impact of political will, and how it can get the entire leadership chain, down to the district and block level, to own up an agenda. … Swachh Bharat Mission has shown us that there is no unique path to change people’s behavior. It is critical to empower state governments, local bodies, and leadership at grassroots, such that they own the sanitation agenda for their regions, and innovate to shift attitudes towards using toilets. Lastly, it must be recognized that the prime minister of India has been the linchpin of this campaign, driving, urging, and inspiring the country towards the realization of ‘Clean India'” (10/1).