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Addressing Sanitation and Health challenges in rural India through socio-technological interventions: A Case Study in Odisha

Publication Type : Conference Paper

Publisher : IEEEXplore

Source : 2021 IEEE 9th Region 10 Humanitarian Technology Conference (R10-HTC), 2021, pp. 1-6

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Keywords : Live-in-Labs®, Open Defecation, Sanitation, Co-Design, Rural Development, Rural Innovation

Campus : Amritapuri

School : School for Sustainable Futures

Center : Amrita Center for Wireless Networks and Applications (AmritaWNA)

Department : Sustainable Development

Year : 2021

Abstract : The Government of India's Swachh Bharat Mission has augmented access to sanitation in rural India. Despite notable progress, many communities still practice Open Defecation (OD). This paper reports on a 2-year study of a tribal village, in the state of Odisha, India, where the challenge of open defecation (OD) was supervened from a socio-technical aspect. It aimed at understanding the reasons for the prevalence of OD in rural India. It focused on how this challenge could be solved using appropriate technology. The methodology adopted Human Centered Design and Co-Design to directly engage with the local population and gain a first-hand familiarity of their living experience. This project determined that longer commitment using a bottom-up participatory and user-centered approach was key in bringing about a higher social impact. In-depth interaction with the community made it possible to understand that the problem actually was the lack of water in the community, that led to sanitation related challenges. In collaboration with the community, a water filtration and distribution system was designed to finally address both the water and sanitation challenges of the community.

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