research institute for compassionate economics

And we’re off!

Written by Diane Coffey on November 28th, 2013

Hello friends!

Sorry for the long break from blogging. We’ve had a whirlwind past 10 days of training for the sanitation survey! We’ve been staying at the Sabhagi Shikshan Kendra’s (SSK) training center on the Sitapur-Lucknow road. In addition to providing more meals of potato, roti, yellow daal and rice than we could count, they also given us a place to sleep, to make friends and to train an amazing group of surveyors on the sanitation survey.

We’ve put together an experienced team of surveyors and team leaders from all over North India, including Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, and even Assam! They’ve worked on some of our favorite surveys – including the National Family Health Survey, the Annual Status of Education Report and the HUNGaMA project! Here they are on the steps of the SSK.

For the last 10 days, they’ve been mastering rice’s sanitation survey, learning how to delicately ask people about some of the most intimate topics – how do they relieve themselves, why do they do what they do, and how do they think about it? It’s been a ton of work…with in-class training…

…and in-the-field practice and piloting.

Over the next five months, we plan to visit over 3000 households in 16 districts in 8 states of north India. This morning, half the team headed out for rural Bihar, and as I type this, our train is pulling of Lucknow station. We are headed for Harayana, a state that has experienced a more rapid improvement in sanitation in the past 10 years than most other states in India.

Wish us luck as we work to generate the data that will help us answer some of sanitation policy’s most important questions. And stay tuned for lots of stories from the field!