What We Do

MISAAL Program


Urban Management Centre (UMC) is implementing USAID supported Moving India Towards Sanitation for All (MISAAL) program in four cities of India; Ahmedabad and Porbandar in Gujarat, Jodhpur in Rajasthan and Sambalpur in Odisha. MISAAL program fundamentally focuses on supporting cities on sustaining open defecation free status (ODF). Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA), Government of India launched the Swachh Bharat (Clean India) Mission in 2014 with the objectives to eliminate open defecation in Indian cities, change behaviour for healthy sanitation practices and capacity augmentation for local governments to create an enabling environment for community and private sector participation.
​MISAAL emphasizes mapping, measurement and monitoring of sanitation service delivery and infrastructure to achieve and sustain open defecation free (ODF) cities. MISAAL is supporting local governments to address ODF sustenance challenges including

  • Last mile gaps in WASH services, especially in slums and slum-like settlements
  • Limited community participation
  • Absence of robust service delivery performance measurement and monitoring mechanisms
  • Lack of interdepartmental coordination
  • Limited public awareness efforts towards sustainable WASH
UMC along with local government conducted ‘sanitation mapping’ which provided an ecosystem to capture, collate, analyse and represent data using GIS, from primary surveys of around 30,000 households spread over 223 slum settlements across 4 cities in India. Sanitation mapping has geocoded each household with data from our primary survey including demographics, user behaviour, WASH service delivery and citizen feedback on the quality of WASH services provided to them. This rich spatial dataset enables local governments to undertake spatial analysis, data driven planning, operational decision making, interdepartmental coordination and participatory community engagement.

To put Sanitation Mapping into practice, we are creating and enabling community groups called MISAAL Settlement Committees (MSC) – a residents’ welfare association (RWA) equivalent of slum settlements. The MSC are enabled to prepare their own Settlement Improvement Plans (SIP), where communities prepare a map of their settlements, diagnose civic issues, identify stakeholders, and draw an action plan to undertake the improvements. Behavior change communication (BCC) is pivotal to ODF sustenance. UMC has developed simple tools that enables community led “learning by doing” to drive behavior change communication. The MSC are trained and capacitated to use these tools which brings about participatory platforms for conducting BCC for ODF sustenance.


Community-led Children’s Learning Facilitation Through MISAAL Fellows in Ahmedabad


The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the lives of the urban poor in many ways including loss of livelihoods for many young adults and an abrupt end of education for children in municipal/ government schools. Since March 2020, municipal/ government schools have been closed and many teachers have been assigned emergency duties to battle COVID-19 by the government. The students of these schools are also devoid of access to digital tools and devices to continue online learning unlike their counterparts in private schools.

Urban Management Centre (UMC) with support from USAID is implementing Moving India Towards Sanitation for All (MISAAL) program to strengthen WASH and community engagement in urban poor settlements in and Ahmedabad, Porbandar (Gujarat), Sambalpur (Odisha), and Jodhpur (Rajasthan).

To rebuild lives and livelihoods post lockdown, UMC initiated ‘Gyan thi Gammat’ (Learning with Fun) and has engaged adolescents and young adults as MISAAL Fellows (learning facilitators) to facilitate aptitude-based learning for lockdown triggered ‘out of school’ children in urban poor settlements of Ahmedabad. UMC collaborated with PRATHAM to train the MISAAL Fellows on aptitude-based learning pedagogy and the use of audio-video-digital tools for enriched learning. The learning emphasizes on enhancing reading, writing & speaking skills, basic mathematics skills, general knowledge, and WASH awareness.

The sessions have been conducted ensuring COVID- 19 related preventive measures such as physical distancing, practicing hand washing, wearing masks, and the use of sanitizers. Recently five MISAAL Fellows completed 1 month of engaging with 104 school going children and conducted nearly 235 sessions. MISAAL Fellows started this journey in mid-September and have received an overwhelming response from children and parents. The attendance rate has been 95% with less than 5% dropout due to out-migration. The parents are convinced and appreciative of this much-required initiative and UMC has been receiving more requests from parents on children enrolment. UMC is planning to scale up this initiative to engage with more children and in other cities.

Updated on 12 November 2020