What We Do

Water, Sanitation & Hygiene


Water, Sanitation & Hygiene

Importance of access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene is non-negotiable in terms of making a city an everyday liveable experience for its citizens. Globally, large number people die due to unsafe access to water and sanitation.
At UMC, we understand that improving quality of life involves changes at all levels; infrastructure, institutional strengthening and capacity building. This involves not only stakeholder participation but working with local governments as has been demonstrated in our implementation.


Sanitation workers regularly deal with hazardous waste and sometimes, enter high-risk confined spaces like sewers and septic tanks, for cleaning and maintaining the vast sanitation infrastructure. The working environment exposes them to a wide range of health risks and diseases due to harmful pathogens, chemicals and sharp objects.

Sanitation workers are one of the most marginalized and excluded populations. Discrimination on the basis of social status and practices of untouchability deepens their vulnerability, forcing them to compromise on their rights to dignity and decent work. At present, sanitation services get delivered through various modes which also includes unregulated, informal service providers.

The scheme Garima has been introduced in urban areas of Odisha for safety and dignity of core sanitation workers, with support of Urban Management Centre. The Government of Odisha strives to enforce the fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 14, 17, 21 and 47 of the Constitution of India by regulating the sanitation sector, improving the working environment and providing identity to sanitation workers. The comprehensive scheme also ensures that social and financial benefits reach sanitation workers and their families.

Urban Management Centre is supporting the Govt. of Odisha by setting up a dedicated Technical Support Unit at the state and city levels with support from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

UMC & WAI Rapid Assessment Study of Sanitation Workers during the COVID-19 Pandemic


Training of Sanitation Workers on use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs)

Ready Reckoner for Urban Local Bodies for Ensuring
Sanitation  Workers’ Safety

Case Study : Sanitation Workers’ Safety in Warangal
during COVID-19

Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH)

Ahmedabad Sanitation Action Lab (ASAL)

Performance Assessment System (PAS)

Performance Management

Secretariat and Knowledge Management for SBM E-learning Portal 


Client: Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs

Supported By: National Film Development Corporation 

Duration: September 2016 – May 2017 

Location: India

Urban Management Centre (UMC) has been involved in the production of e-learning material for the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) under the Swachh Bharat Mission - Urban. As part of this project, UMC has developed 35 e-courses on various components of the Swachh Bharat Mission like the individual and community-based sanitation schemes, solid waste management practices, innovative IEC campaigns, and new technologies in the field of sanitation. These tutorials are primarily meant for the capacity building of government officials and can be accessed on the E-learning portal and android app

UMC, along with Microsoft India’s “Massively Empowered Classrooms (MEC)”, is also responsible for the overall moderation of the portal, which includes uploading tutorials, data management, continuous improvement of the user interface, and moderation of the quizzes. 

UMC has supported Microsoft to migrate from the MEC version of the e-learning portal to Sangam – an Azure-based cloud portal. Through this migration, UMC has supported :


UMC has continued providing course moderation and secretariat support for enhancing the reach of the platform, better management, and strengthening of the SBM e-learning platform.

For more information contact us at info@umcasia.org 


Toolkits for Decision Making and Planning of Sanitation Works for MoHUA


Client: Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Institute

Location: India

Duration: December 2016 – March 2017


Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Institute (WASH-I) approached UMC for the preparation of a toolkit for sanitation which could help cities for implementing sanitation-related works in cities. UMC prepared the following five tools as  part of the project:

Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for operations and maintenance (O&M) of public and community toilets PT/CTs that included a decision-making matrix and a model contract for the agencies involved in O&M of the toilets.

An excel-based Solid Waste Management Vehicles and Equipment Gap Assessment Tool with a manual on how to use the tool. The tool was formulated with the purpose of helping cities to identify the gaps in existing SWM and assess additional requirements of vehicles and equipment for ensuring 100% waste collection, with CAPEX and OPEX up to the next three years.

Standard Operating Procedure for Faecal Sludge and Septage Management (FSSM) in Urban Areas of India. This SOP was formulated on FSSM that clearly explained the process of emptying existing OSS systems and frequency of cleaning, standard sizes of OSS systems, service plan for scheduled emptying of the septic tank, safe conveyance, and transportation of faecal sludge & septage with its treatment and disposal.

Flashcards for Identification of On-site Sanitation Systems. The handy A5 size set of  Flashcards. presented collection, conveyance, treatment, and disposal options for outputs from a pour-flush user interface. The cards were based on the level of acceptability and conformation to safe sanitation practices and were color-coded. Red color depicted systems and processes prohibited by law, orange color depicted unsafe systems and practices needed to be improved/ phased out, and green color depicted acceptable and safe systems and practices. 

An excel-based FSSM Tool with a user manual was developed. – This tool was prepared in collaboration with  CSE, CPR, and CEPT. UMC modified this tool as per the requirements and discussions held with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA). Formulated as a  rapid assessment tool it calculates the budget for implementing FSSM in the city by establishing desludging frequency for every three years period. This tool also provided the calendar with month and year indicating the number of septic tanks to be emptied. 


For more information contact us at info@umcasia.org 


Sanitation Mapping for Visakhapatnam Under Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor


Client: WSUP-A and USAID

Location: Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh

Duration: March 2016 - July 2016

Urban Management Centre undertook technical research based on which Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) made an action plan to realize its vision of a Swachh Visakhapatnam. Visakhapatnam Sanitation Mapping was a project with Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor Advisory (WSUP-A India) funded by USAID. The project was under the broader objective of the Swachh Bharat Mission.

The project entailed the following:

1.   Technical audit of each public as well as community toilet in the city - assessing all the aspects of the adequacy of the toilet.

2.   Technical audit of each open defecation spot (enlisted by GVMC) and discovering new observed spots - assessing each location concerning types of users and reasons behind open defecation.

3.   Conducting Focus Group Discussions at selected slums and Key Informant Interviews at strategic public places to bring qualitative narrative on the practice of open defecation, in addition to that obtained through technical audit of  OD spots and PT/CTs.

4.   Understanding the existent mechanism of database capture/recording, and organization in GVMC and assessing how it could be improved towards the specific objective of better implementation of SBM activities.

5.   Collection and appropriate organization of key secondary data, directly or indirectly related to sanitation, and enlisted by WSUP-A. An excel-based Knowledge Management (KM) tool was developed for use by officials at GVMC.

6.   Maps representing the existing sanitation infrastructure/situation as well as various analysis maps were prepared. A Ward Atlas was prepared with OD spots and PT/CTs so that GVMC officials may utilize it for re-survey activities.

7.   A host of recommendations to GVMC were given based on the assessment of the existing situation, survey, and discussions with WSUP-A.

Related Resource Documents

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Technical Support Unit for Mahatma Gandhi Swachhata Mission, Government of Gujarat


Client: Mahatma Gandhi Swachhata Mission, Urban Development and Urban Housing Department, Government of Gujarat 

Location: Gujarat 

Duration: June 2016 - October 2019

The Mahatma Gandhi Swachhata Mission (MGSM) is the state Government’s initiative to achieve full sanitation in the state. Launched in February 2014, the MGSM aligns its activities with the Swachh Bharat Mission of the Government of India.

UMC provided technical support to MGSM to improve sanitation in urban Gujarat. UMC assisted in drafting the policy and operational guidelines to create open defecation free and zero waste cities. These guidelines indicate the roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders, financial outlays, operations and maintenance regimes, and IEC campaigns.

UMC also assisted in designing a management information system (MIS) for periodic review and monitoring of cleanliness in government buildings and public areas in our cities. A framework was developed to monitor the sanitation improvements in:

   (a)    Government-owned/ occupied buildings and derive the Sanitation Index for a building.
   (b)    Public areas in our cities and derive the city Sanitation Index. 

 This framework was aligned with the Swachh Bharat Mission (urban) guidelines, Ministry of Urban Development’s Service Level Benchmarking (SLB) framework, and sanitation rating under the National Urban Sanitation Policy (NUSP).

 Related Resource Document 

For more information contact us at info@umcasia.org 

Communication Strategy for  Kolkata Municipal Corporation under the Kolkata Environmental Improvement Investment Program (KEIIP)


Client: Asian Development Bank and KEIIP

Location: Kolkata

Duration: April 2016- March 2017

The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) through its Project Management Unit (PMU) implemented Tranche – 1 of the “Kolkata Environmental Improvement Investment Program” (KEIIP) financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The outcome of the project would allow healthy living standards and better access to basic facilities for the urban population concerning water supply and sanitation facilities, especially in peripheral areas of KMC. The other canopying outcome envisioned for KMC as an organization, was to increase the quality of service delivery and operational sustainability in the field of water supply, sewerage, and drainage substantially. 

The support to project KEIIP was to achieve the following outputs: 

Output 1: Rehabilitation of inefficient and outdated water supply assets to minimize the cost of operation; restoration and enhancement of production capacities, and reduction of water loss in distribution
Output 2: Construction of sewer network to reach newly developed areas
Output 3: Further development of financial management and project implementation capacity 

UMC’s support through the IEC component was to help the project communicate the various components of KEIIP to the public. The broad support areas include: 

null    Develop and provide information, education, and communication (IEC) materials in print and digital formats.
null    Provide strategic advice on public communication for the project.
null    Coordinate, organize, and supervise various participation and consultation activities as per the Communication Strategy.
null    Develop public awareness about the work and area of concern.
null    Assisted KEIIP to implement an effective gender mainstreaming initiative under the Gender Action Plan.


Related Resource Document 

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Swachh Sarvekshan of Industrial Estates under Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation 


Client: Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) Swachhata Abhiyan 2016

Location: Ahmedabad, Bharuch, Bhavnagar, Bhuj, Gandhinagar, Rajkot, Surat, Surendranagar, Vadodara, etc.

Duration: November 2016- May 2017

Under the Swachh Bharat Mission Urban, Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation had undertaken the ‘GIDC Swachhata Abhiyan 2016’ for all its industrial estates. They appointed Urban Management Centre to conduct a primary assessment of the estates across the state, rate, and further reward the best estates suitably. The survey allowed GIDC to assess the cleanliness and regular maintenance of industrial estates and provided important data on the development of the estates.

The cleanest estates were identified based on the Swachhata survey conducted in 45 participating industrial estates. They received the awards in a ceremony at Sanand GIDC in presence of the Honorable Chief Minister Mr. Vijaybhai Rupani. The survey was later extended with the addition of 156 industrial estates to check their status for cleanliness as well as infrastructure assessment. A report was submitted with an analysis of the scenario at the time and recommendations for performance enhancement of all 201 industrial estates.

Related Resource Document 

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Detail Project Report for Solid Waste Management improvement in Jamnagar under SBM


Client: Jamnagar Municipal Corporation

Location: Jamnagar

Duration: November 2016 - Ongoing

UMC was one of the empaneled organizations by MoHUA to prepare a detailed project report (DPR). As a result of this, UMC was selected to prepare a comprehensive DPR for Solid Waste Management (SWM). 

Jamnagar Municipal Corporation (JMC) intended to prepare a comprehensive DPR for SWM provision in their city. JMC floated a request for proposal in June 2015. Urban Management Centre (UMC) was selected through the process to provide technical support to JMC for the assignment. The comprehensive DPR was implemented by JMC with support from the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). The DPR incorporated the existing system of SWM in the city and planned for new interventions for JMC to move towards zero waste management principles.

To prepare the DPR, UMC conducted secondary research, field visits, data collection, and analysis. The field visits allowed the team to collect data to analyze the existing SWM system of the city. The analysis helped assess gaps to identify the SWM needs of the city for the coming ten years. 

The UMC team after an introductory meeting with Jamnagar Municipal Corporation officials in Ahmedabad visited Jamnagar to understand the existing SWM practices followed by the corporation. The site visits targeted at open dumping spots, transfer points, and secondary waste collection points. A preliminary mapping of various stakeholders for SWM service delivery in the city was also conducted. In parallel, data analysis supported by desktop research was used for gap assessment to prepare a proposal for solid waste management in the city. It included readings, data analysis, team reflection, and scenario establishment.

Related Resource Document 

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Action Plan for Ahmedabad to Conform “The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act 2013”


Client: Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC)

Location: Ahmedabad, Gujarat

Duration: September 2014 - September 2015


The dehumanizing practice of manual scavenging that arises from the continuing existence of insanitary latrines and a highly iniquitous caste system still persists in various parts of the country. The existing laws have not proven adequate in eliminating the twin evils of insanitary latrines and manual scavenging. This was quoted by the Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India. 

Ahmedabad was one of the cities facing the issue of manual scavenging. The Government of India (GoI) released ‘The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act’ in September 2013. To comply with the act and eradicate manual scavenging to prevent its future occurrence, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) approached Urban Management Centre (UMC) to prepare an Action Plan to conform to the Act. This Action Plan provided preventive strategies to AMC to eliminate any existing unrecognized manual scavenging in the city and prevent it from recurring in the future.

Objectives and strategies

The objective of the Action Plan was to prevent the recurrence of manual scavenging in Ahmedabad. This objective was further broken down based on the source of vulnerable areas. The strategies and actions were formulated to tackle each vulnerable spot where manual scavenging could recur, i.e. open defecation (OD) spots and public/community toilets in Ahmedabad. Actions/recommendations to AMC were broadly categorized into the following:

1. Improve processes to manage public/community toilets
2. Provide infrastructure and equipment to mechanized cleaning
3. Undertake awareness campaigns against manual scavenging
4. Strengthen monitoring of cleaning activities
5. Train and build the capacity of workers

Some of the actions included a) survey of all open defecation (OD) spots in AMC’s jurisdiction, b) identifying the street sweeper of the ‘beats’ (a stretch of street/ public space cleaned by one street sweeper) where OD was reported, c) ensure adequate safety and protective gear to the street sweeper, and d) work with vehicle body manufacturers to develop a suction-based ‘manure lifting machine’ to mechanically clean OD spots.

UMC identified potential areas where there was a possibility of manual scavenging and made an action plan for Ahmedabad to eradicate manual scavenging by suggesting activities with block cost. Ahmedabad is the pioneer as it is the first city in India to prepare such an action plan to prevent any recurrence of manual scavenging in the city. Through this action plan, manual scavenging was eradicated from Ahmedabad and the workers who were engaged in the practice of manual scavenging shifted to other ways to earn a livelihood.

Related Resource Document 

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Ahmedabad Sanitation Action Lab (ASAL) – Urban WASH Alliance (UWA)


Client: United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Government of Gujarat (GoG), Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC)

Location: Ahmedabad

Duration: October 2014- September 2017

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Urban Management Centre (UMC) formed a partnership under the Ahmedabad Sanitation Action Lab (ASAL) program. 

The USAID-UMC joint program, ASAL, worked in partnership with the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, the Ahmedabad Municipal School Board, and the Government of Gujarat to improve the quality and maintenance of toilets for children in select municipal school campuses. Under the program, more than 130,000 children benefited from access to safe drinking water, improved sanitation facilities, and the adoption of Menstrual Hygiene Management practices. 

A total of 317 schools situated in 213 campuses were surveyed which covered almost 1.25 lakh students. The rigorous survey process had three main components. Part I included data collection on the availability of adequate toilets, washbasins, and drinking water for students, and systems to ensure its operations and maintenance. Part II included observations from independent evaluation teams who observed the condition and cleanliness of toilets and checked for residual chlorine tests in municipal water. Part III consisted of collecting feedback from students, the actual intended users of toilets and water stations. A total of 53 questions were part of the survey. 

The availability of WASH infrastructure, the presence of operations and maintenance systems, and actual cleanliness had a weightage of 40% each, while behaviour change activities for WASH had a 20% weightage.

One school scored more than 90 marks out of 100, while 8 other schools scored between 75 to 89 marks. 106 schools scored between 60 to 74 marks. These schools showed encouraging results and needed to marginally improve their conditions and sustain their infrastructure. 94 schools scored low between 40 to 59 marks and needed considerable improvement. 4 school campuses needed critical support because they scored less than 40 marks.

In three years, ASAL worked with a wide range of stakeholders both in schools and slum areas. The program continually improvised on the lessons learned and innovations that emerged during the implementation phase. This has been documented in a handbook titled ‘ABCs of WASH Improvement in Schools’ which will help in replication and adaptation of the program in other cities.

ASAL also worked in the surrounding slum communities to help community members advocate for their needs, bring toilet connections to the neighbourhood, and instill the habit of using a toilet by discouraging the practice of open defecation. UMC also developed an E-Portal - https://swachhbharat.azurewebsites.net/ that included 22 tutorials to train government officials in sanitation management which was being used by city managers in more than 1,000 cities.

Related Resource Documents 

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Leading Practices Documentation of Solid Waste Management Initiatives in India


Client: National Institute for Urban Affairs

Location: India

Duration: June 2013 – September 2013


Urban areas in India generate more than 1,00,000 MT of waste per day (CPHEEO, 2000). A large metropolis such as Mumbai generates about 7000 MT of waste per day (MCGM, 2014), Bangalore generates about 5000 MT (BBMP, 2014), and other large cities such as Pune and Ahmedabad generate waste in the range of 1600-3500 MT per day (PMC, 2014). Collecting, processing, transporting, and disposing of this municipal solid waste (MSW) is the responsibility of urban local bodies (ULBs) in India. The Municipal Solid Waste (Management & Handling) Rules notified in 2000 by the Ministry of Environment and Forest require ULBs to collect waste in a segregated manner with categories including organic/food waste, domestic hazardous waste, recyclable waste and undertake safe and scientific transportation management, processing and disposal of municipal waste. However, most ULBs in India find it difficult to comply with these rules, implement and sustain door-to-door collection, waste segregation, management, processing, and safe disposal of MSW.  

The National and State Governments have provided an impetus to improve solid waste management in urban areas under various programs and schemes. The Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM) funded 49 SWM projects in various cities between 2006 and 2009 (MoUD, 2014). Several cities in India have taken positive steps towards implementing sustainable waste management practices by involving the community in segregation, enforcing better PPP contracts, and investing in modern technology for transportation, processing, and disposal. The role of waste pickers/ informal sector in SWM has been increasingly recognized too. These interventions have great potential for wider replication in other cities in the country. The compendium documents eleven such leading practices from cities across India and highlights key aspects of the waste management programs including operational models, ULB- NGO partnerships, and innovative outreach and awareness campaigns to engage communities and the private sector.

The National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) is the National Coordinator for the PEARL initiative (Peer Experience and Reflective Learning). It is a program that enables effective sharing of knowledge (related to planning; implementation; governance and; sustainability of urban reforms and other infrastructure projects) among the cities that are being supported by JnNURM (Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission). Many tasks had been planned to achieve the objectives of the program. One of the key tasks encompassed by the program was documentation of good practices in various thematic areas related to planning; governance and service delivery.

To identify and list initiatives in solid waste management, the Urban Management Centre team prepared an exhaustive inventory of leading practices from all across urban India by reviewing existing publications and best practice studies, sanitation policies of various state governments, city-level plans, and news articles. The team also interviewed and interacted with subject matter experts, NGOs working at the grass-root level in the sector,  government, and private in-service officials in the solid waste sector in India. Based on the above research methodology, a preliminary list of 73 potential best practices was identified.

These best practices were then categorized into three broad groups -

1. Operational improvements in the value chain of municipal solid waste
2. Policy, planning, and enforcement initiatives
3. Initiatives involving the community in solid waste management.

The 73 identified practices were further analyzed and reviewed on parameters such as the size and location of the city, scale and spread of the initiative, category of the initiative, and sustainability, reliability, and adaptability of the initiative. Eleven of these seventy-three initiatives from across the country were identified as best practices and documented in detail.  The key findings were nuanced understanding of  Waste collection, processing, and disposal; Planning, policy, and enforcement; Involvement of various stakeholders in waste management.

Related Resource Documents 

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Technical Audit of Public and Community Convenience Services in Ahmedabad


Client:  Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC)

Location: Ahmedabad

Duration: February 2013- May 2013

The Government of India launched its National Urban Sanitation Policy in November 2008 with a vision for ‘all Indian cities and towns to become totally sanitized, healthy, liveable, ensure and sustain good public health with environmental outcomes for all their citizens with a special focus on hygienic and affordable sanitation facilities for the urban poor and women.’

The policy advocated that all cities become open defecation free (ODF), all human wastes and liquid wastes to be collected, safely treated and adequate resources be available for the operations and maintenance of the sanitation facilities. 

Ahmedabad ranked 19th among 423 cities in the national sanitation ranking exercise conducted by the Ministry of Urban Development in 2009. A deeper analysis of the scoring revealed that Ahmedabad scored poorly in the sanitation sector – provision of public conveniences in the city. Despite the high number of facilities, the condition of public conveniences was poor and most toilets were not usable. Out of 1.73 lakh slum households, 33% did not have access to individual toilets.

Urban Management Centre (UMC) conducted a detailed technical audit of more than 1600 public conveniences in Ahmedabad. The main objectives of the technical audit were to assess the condition of the public conveniences, and identify issues and provide recommendations to the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) to make improvements. 

UMC’s audit teams consisted of one male and one female member, including architects, urban planners, civil engineers, and women members from an Ahmedabad based NGO, Mahila Housing Trust. Each facility was scored on its building condition, its accessibility, cleanliness, design, infrastructure, and user feedback. UMC also carried out a detailed analysis of the operations and maintenance (O&M) framework of the AMC for these facilities. 

All facilities were mapped on the GIS platform and detailed photographic documentation was done. UMC also submitted a list of facilities that immediately required inputs from the engineering departments and ones that required improved maintenance. Such ward-wise and zone-wise profiles were provided to each zonal and ward officials. Detailed recommendations were submitted to the AMC which included design inputs, contracts management and financing for operations and maintenance, locating the facilities, etc.

Related Resource Documents 

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Preparation of City Sanitation Plan for Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation


Client: Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation

Location: Ahmedabad

Duration: June 2011- May 2012

The City Sanitation Plan (CSP) initiated by Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) aimed to develop and maintain a clean, safe and pleasant physical environment to promote social, economic, and physical well-being of all sections of the population. It encompassed a plan of action to achieve 100% sanitation in the city of Ahmedabad. They planned to do this through a demand generation and awareness campaign, sustainable technology selection, construction and maintenance of sanitary infrastructure, provision of services, O&M issues, institutional roles and responsibilities, public education, community and individual action, regulation and legislation.

In this regard, Urban Management Centre helped AMC with the following:

null    Created framework for City Sanitation Plan
null    Data collection and analysis
null    Facilitated formation of the Ahmedabad City Sanitation Task Force and facilitate consultations
null    Facilitated finalization of social, technical, and financial aspects of the CSP
null    Prepared Assessment Report of City Sanitation Plan


Related Resource Documents 

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Preparation of Master Plan for Solid Waste Management, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC)


Client: Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC)

Location: Ahmedabad

Duration: November 2011- February 2012

With the increase in population and spatial spread in urban Ahmedabad, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) covered a total geographic area of 466 sq km and had a population of 55.6 lakh which were administered in 6 Zones with 64 Election Wards. Then, Ahmedabad was producing about 3500 Metric Tons (MT) of solid waste per day. In its endeavor to keep the city clean, the Solid Waste Management (SWM) department of AMC had taken many initiatives including law enforcement through mobile courts, improved collection by way of door-to-door solid waste collection, strengthening and modernization of street sweeping, maintenance of public latrines and toilets, protected and safe transportation of solid waste, public-private partnership based waste processing plants, etc. In line with this initiative, AMC had requested the Urban Management Centre to prepare a master plan for their Solid Waste Management Services. Undertaken in a consultative manner, the master plan guided the technological, social, financial options for the city to move towards becoming a zero-waste city.

For this purpose, UMC conducted numerous field visits for data collection, interaction with ULB officials, citizens, focused groups, etc. In addition to data collection, detailed site visits were conducted at the following locations to assess the status of MSWM services:

null    Waste collection points in residential, commercial, and special (including meat & vegetable) market areas; formal and informal open dumping sites in and around the city, etc.
null    Natural water bodies including nalas, rivers, lakes, ponds, etc. to assess the environmental degradation caused due to lack of MSWM services in the city.
null    Public toilets, urinals, and open defecation (OD) spots.
null    Special areas such as railway station, Gujarat University, other campuses of large institutional areas, GIDC estates in the city, etc.
null    Some selected outgrowths/ contiguous settlements to the city.
null    Other site visits included slums, residential areas, municipal civic centres, retail, wholesale markets, health, and educational institutions, etc.


Related Resource Documents 

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Design and Content Development for Mass Communication and Management of IEC process for the Solid Waste Management Department of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation  


Client: Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC)

Duration: October 2011- June 2012

Location: Ahmedabad


With the rapid growth in terms of population and spatial spread, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation covers a total geographic area of 464.16 Sq.km and had above 60 lakh population administered in 6 Zones with 64 Election Wards. Ahmedabad City generated about 2600 metric tons (MT) per day of solid waste which doubled in a decade. ( Data as per the year 2012).  In its endeavor to keep the city clean, the Solid Waste Management (SWM) department of AMC took many initiatives that included law enforcement through mobile courts, improved collection by way of Door-to-Dump solid waste collection, strengthening and modernization of street sweeping, maintenance of public latrines and toilets, protected and safe transportation of solid waste, public-private partnership based processing plants, etc. AMC recognized that in parallel to investments and regulations, Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) is an important element to improve Ahmedabad’s SWM.

To facilitate the implementation of IEC in AMC’s SWM initiative, UMC developed the following variety of communication strategies.


Related Resource Document 

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City Development Plan for 7 cities in Madhya Pradesh


Client: Urban Administration & Development Department, Government of Madhya Pradesh

Location: Madhya Pradesh

Duration: October 2011- July 2012


Rapid urbanization and increasing urban population have resulted in immense pressure on cities to provide basic services to residents. The escalated growth has also led to increase in the numbers of urban poor that have created a need to address the issue of service delivery and challenges related to unrestricted urban growth. A City Development Plan (CDP) addresses urban issues directly by providing a tangible action plan with key objectives of making cities manageable by being well governed; competitive by enhancing economic productivity; bankable by creating an environment that supports financial investments; and liveable by creating high-quality infrastructure and ensuring sustainability. The Urban Administration and Development Department (UADD), Government of Madhya Pradesh (GoMP) selected Urban Management Centre (UMC) for the preparation of the City Development Plans of Garoth, Malhargarh, Narayangarh, Bhanpura, Sitamau, Shamgarh, and Nagri Cities in Mandsaur District of Madhya Pradesh.

UMC conducted site visits for the purposes of data collection, field visits, interacted with ULB officials, citizens, focused groups and organized stakeholder workshops. UMC also arranged detailed site visits at the following locations to assess the status of municipal services:

Based on the verification of collected data, UMC conducted studies to summarize the findings and prepared proposals to fill gaps in the municipal services. Proposals were presented to stakeholders and based on citizen’s feedback, their vision for the development of their city, and their priorities, the proposals were refined and a broad sector-wise investment was estimated for the next 25 years. This was followed by a report on City Profile, Sector Analysis, City Vision, and Priority Projects. 

UMC conducted Stakeholder Workshop at the city level and conducted discussions with District Collectors and Magistrates of the cities. The feedback received was included in the City development plan. 


Related Resource Document 

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Facilitating Economic Growth in Sri Lanka


Client: International City/ County Management Association

Location: Trincomalee and Batticaloa, Sri Lanka

Duration: October 2009 – February 2010


The purpose of this program was to contribute to support the economic revitalization of the Eastern Province, Sri Lanka through the provision of technical services. These services supported other existing programs in the country like PEER, CORE, Workforce development, and other initiatives that were to be identified later. This contributed directly to the implementation efforts of existing and planned USAID/ Sri Lanka Economic growth programs as well as to the overall improvement of the Eastern province.

Urban Management Centre provided the following services:
null    Technical assistance to start up the program in the city of Trincomalee and Batticaloa
null     Assistance in assessing the potential of LED interventions at the Pradeshiya Sabha and municipality levels with the help of the local representative.
null     Contribute to and review the overall work plan.
null     Assist the Urban Council Trincomalee (UCT) to develop a Sustainable Solid Waste Management System
null     Design a solid waste management system for the UCT and conduct a trainers’ workshop to build capacity


For more information contact us at info@umcasia.org 

Performance Assessment Systems for Urban Water Supply and Sanitation (PAS), Gujarat


Client: Government of Gujarat

Supported By: Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT University); The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Duration: November 2008 - June 2016

Location: Gujarat

There was extensive access to water and sanitation services available in urban India. But a lack of information about the quality, level of services, and coverage of poor households was identified. There was a need in this sector to improve and attract investments for its development. In this context, it was important to assess the prevailing system and its sustainability. 

A detailed study of the performance of services like water supply, sanitation, solid waste, and storm water drainage was undertaken to understand critical nodes in urban areas. The Performance Assessment Systems (PAS) for Urban Water Supply and Sanitation in Gujarat, India (2009-14), supported by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, was a project to study the water and sanitation services in the state of Gujarat. Urban Management Centre (UMC) in partnership with the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT University), Ahmedabad implemented this program in Gujarat. 

PAS was aligned with the Service Level Benchmarking (SLB) program of the Ministry of Urban Development (MOUD), Government of India. PAS aimed to measure, monitor, and improve performance assessment of the municipal water supply and sanitation services in 170 urban local governments in Gujarat. The monitoring of the performances was linked with reforms under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM), a Government of India initiative.  The main objectives and undertakings of the five-year program were the following:

null    To develop and implement a performance measurement system to generate regular and reliable Urban Water Supply and Sanitation (UWSS) information.
null    To design and share results with city governments, state government agencies, other stakeholders, and various media through performance monitoring and dissemination systems for decision-making use, providing incentives, and          influencing demands.
null    To facilitate the development of performance improvement plans for the city with support from the state government, NGOs, and the private sector.
null    To emphasize data collection aided by analysis and documentation. Information was collected from 166 cities in Gujarat by the UMC PAS team for performance measurement.
null    Arrange meetings with organizations under the Government of Gujarat to discuss the program and develop a state-level framework with a pilot test for 11 cities.
null    UMC team visited cities to collect the required data using a set methodology.
null    Data collection was followed by the identification of sector-wise gaps in the data. This data was translated into a map using Google images. Data validation was then carried out in the pilot as well as post-pilot cities.
null    UMC prepared city profiles for all ULBs.
null    UMC developed a PAS film in Gujarati (the local language) to enable a better understanding of the program. This film was given to the ULB staff and other stakeholders at the local level.
null    Developed a framework for ISIP and PIP strategy, existing formats for water supply and sanitation services. Complaint redressal systems of ULBs were reviewed and data reliability improvement formats were prepared.
null    Summarised and tabulated a complete report of the Key Performance Indicator (KPIs) Values and Local Action Indicators (LAIs) of all 166 cities in Gujarat.
null    Prepared a report for analysis of the data collected. The report was submitted to the partner organization at the end of the first phase.
null    UMC analyzed the data collected from ULBs in the first round and also initiated data collection for the next two phases.
null    The UMC team undertook tasks to prepare for the second round of data collection — field testing, translation of checklists, developing a separate checklist for slum survey across all slum settlements, validation, and recording changes in flow diagrams of water supply in all 166 ULBs.
null    A survey was conducted in a slum to get a view of the level of services available in the areas — the exercise was conducted in 1819 urban poor settlements of 157 municipalities in the Gujarat state.
null    PAS aligned with the SLB process of the Government of India whereby data was collected for the 13th Finance Commission in Gujarat for the year 2011-2012. The SLB checklist was translated into Gujarati (the local language) to enable a better understanding for the city officials.
null    The UMC team conducted workshops to train the city staff in updating information for the online checklist for their respective city.
null    UMC provided support to selected municipalities to prepare the Performance Improvement Plans (PIP)/Information System Improvement Plan (ISIP).
null    UMC identified themes for facilitating PIP and ISIP viz. — septage management in non-sewered cities, low-cost wastewater treatment methods, public grievance redressal systems, management information system for improved reliability of data.
null    UMC documented leading practices followed by ULBs in Gujarat in a catalogue titled ‘What Works in Water & Sanitation’.
null    UMC made two films on best practices. One was an update on the PAS introduction film titled “Performance Measurement & Improvement” and incorporated some of the key results from year one. The second film titled “Efficient  Water Quality Monitoring” discusses the process of water quality monitoring that is mandated by CPHEEO.
null    UMC highlighted PAS achievements in a seven-edition quarterly newsletter called ‘Jaldarshan’.

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Study Tour of Kotte Municipal Staff to Bangalore, India, and Formation of Good Governance Resource Centres in Srilanka


Client: International City/ County Management Association

Duration: March 2007

Location: Sri Lanka

As part of UMC’s technical assistance and support to the formation and operationalizing of Good Governance Resource Centers (GGRC’s), a five-day workshop and study tour was organized for the Sri Lankan Transparency and Accountability in Local Governance (TALG), GGRC’s Program Coordinators/Managers and advisory board members from GGRCs (Good Governance Resource Centers) in Bangalore, India to enable the Sri Lankan officials to gain insights into good urban governance in India and activities of existing city networks in India.

Sri Lanka, a developing country devastated by conflict. Its city governments had a vision but needed assistance to implement recovery and development plans. UMC acted as a handholding agency for them in their effort to affect better governance. The study tour was organized in March 2007 with the support of the City Managers’ Association, Karnataka (CMAK) in Bangalore, the capital city of the Indian state of Karnataka.

The purpose of the tour was to expose the GGRCs to sound local governance practices that have been implemented as a result of the delegation of authority at the local level. In addition, the participants were exposed to the benefits of City Managers’ Associations — a local body with no political affiliations and whose primary function is to support local governance through information dissemination, capacity building initiatives, and advocacy.

The delegation from Sri Lanka, comprising over 28 delegates arrived at Bangalore to gain from the experience and examples the city had to offer. The key lessons learned included:

null    Municipal reforms addressing urban issues, urban management as understood by ULBs
null    Policy formulation for devolution of power towards regional development
null    Technology application and transferability
null    Global community efforts
null    Maintaining cultural values and customs
null    Good governance tool kits
null    GIS-based property tax
null    Citizens charters
null    Performance measurement
null    City cooperation by stakeholders
null    Solid waste management

Urban Management Centre emphasized the importance of city networks in professionalizing urban management and the way they can be mentored. The participants were given insight into the urban management set-up, the government machinery, and political structure. They were introduced to reforms like a funds-based accounting system, financial reforms, and e-governance. The Sri Lanka delegation was taken for site visits to observe best practices in solid waste management. Bangalore has seen results evolve out of efforts of self-help groups, awareness building, and women’s empowerment in areas selected for study tours.

The Sri Lankan delegates were briefed regarding the ethics and operational issues of CMAs with the City Managers Association of Karnataka as an example. A trip to the City Municipal Council of Ramnagaram, 40 km from Bangalore helped showcase a full-fledged e-governance system. Ramanagaram was ranked the best Urban Local Bodies (ULB) in the implementation of GIS-based property tax.

The delegation undertook a tour to Karnataka Compost Development Corporation (KCDC) where the managing director made a presentation on the current status of waste management in India as well as the waste treatment mechanisms being used in KCDC. Explaining the function of the corporation as well as the results achieved in the corporation providing a detailed explanation about the composting mechanisms used at KCDC. This was followed by a field visit of the actual components of the composting facility and a detailed study of vermiculture as well as aerobic microbial processes.

The team from Sri Lanka was enriched and pleased with the study tour. The participants felt the study tour was a good starting point for setting up technical programs on the GGRCs and that they had received adequate feedback on operationalizing as well as facilitation of technical assistance to local bodies.

For more information contact us at info@umcasia.org 

Developing Communication Strategy for Effective Solid Waste Management  of Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai 


Client: The Urban Institute, Washington DC,

            United States Agency for International Development (USAID) 

            International City/County Management Association (ICMA

Location: Mumbai

Duration: December 2005-March 2007 


Communication takes place at various levels in the complex management of people and systems.  Solid Waste Managers at various levels need to recognize and articulate their communications needs, address these, and integrate appropriate tools into their work. The Urban Management Centre (UMC) -  International City/County Management Association  (ICMA)-Urban Institute (UI) consortium was awarded a contract by the United States Agency for  International Development (USAID) called “India Urban Initiatives” (IUI). The purpose of the contract was to provide technical assistance to some of the largest cities in India in the areas of economic development, land ownership, urban renewal and regeneration, registration policy and systems,   sustainable environmental and land management,   public-private partnerships, and support of networks for sharing innovative practices. Mumbai has been struggling with economic growth issues and the provision of a decent living environment for its citizens. The private and public sectors joined together to assist Mumbai with development efforts and created the Mumbai Task Force (MTF) to monitor development activities. MTF defined some steps needed to push economic development forward. UMC   with technical assistance from the Centre for   Environment Education (CEE) developed a   communication strategy for effective Solid Waste   Management (SWM) in partnership with the   Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), All-India Institute of Local Self Government  (AIILSG), and MTF along with inputs on technical aspects. 

This project was aimed at assisting the MCGM Solid Waste Department in technological and communication issues. The broad objectives were to: 

UMC set up a multidisciplinary team of experts from within partners and a plan of work in the consultation was prepared.   UMC and the chosen team developed a strategy for implementation by the MCGM - 

UMC and team also developed ideas and initiatives to further develop the communications strategy 


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Conservation & Management Plan for East Kolkata Wetland (EKWL) - WASH


Client: International City/County Management Association

Location: East Kolkata

Duration: July 2005 – May 2007 

ICMA and Urban Management Centre (UMC) worked with the East Kolkata Wetland management authority and utilized results of Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Department for International Development of the United Kingdom (DFID) studies to develop a comprehensive management/institutional structure and implementation plan for the conservation of the ecology and economy of the East Kolkata Wetlands, a Ramsar Site. The study involved looking at aspects of physiographic, socio-economic features of the wetlands.

The management plan provided recommendations for ensuring the wastewater flow, solid waste management in productive farming, biodiversity, land use control and regulations, and strengthening livelihood opportunities provided to the base population.

The assistance also involved preparing a communication plan and strategy for obtaining community acceptance and conformance with the management plan.


For more information contact us at info@umcasia.org 




Secretariat and Knowledge Management for SBM E-learning Portal (2016)

Toolkits for Decision Making and Planning of Sanitation Works for MoHUA (2016)

Sanitation Mapping for Visakhapatnam Under Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (2016)

Technical Support Unit for Mahatma Gandhi Swachhata Mission, Government of Gujarat (2016)

Communication Strategy for  Kolkata Municipal Corporation under KEIIP (2016)

Swachh Sarvekshan of Industrial Estates under GIDC (2016)

Detail Project Report for Solid Waste Management improvement in Jamnagar under SBM (2016)

Action Plan for Ahmedabad - Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers (2014)

Ahmedabad Sanitation Action Lab (ASAL) – Urban WASH Alliance (UWA) (2014)

Leading Practices Documentation of Solid Waste Management Initiatives in India (2013)

Technical Audit of Public and Community Convenience Services in Ahmedabad (2013)

Preparation of City Sanitation Plan for Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (2011)

Preparation of Master Plan for Solid Waste Management of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (2011)

Design and Content Development for Mass Communication and Management of IEC process for the Solid Waste Management Department of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (2011)

City Development Plan for 7 cities in Madhya Pradesh (2011)

Facilitating Economic Growth in Sri Lanka (2009)

Performance Assessment Systems for Urban Water Supply and Sanitation (PAS), Gujarat (2008)

Study Tour of Kotte, Srilanka Municipal Staff to India (2007)

Developing Communication Strategy for Effective Solid Waste Management  of Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (2005)

Conservation & Management Plan for East Kolkata Wetland (EKWL) (2005)