India Entering into a New Era: WATSAN Survey through Mobile Phones

As soon as you enter Jaipur or Jainagar you actually get a sense of culture rich city which was founded by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, a Kachwaha Rajput in 1727 after whose name the city was being actually named. In 1878 Prince of Wales had to visit Jaipur for some administrative reforms the city was painted in the pink colour so as to welcome him in the city.

The roads are very well planned, but are mostly jam as they were planned for less population and not for population of around 6.5 millions . After a chaotic ride inside the walled city we finally arrived at our hotel which had a soothing effect on our mind’s as it was a gruelling and tiresome journey from Delhi to Jaipur. We kept our luggage at the hotel and went straight to our Jaipur office where we had to arrange logistics, training materials and other stuff required for 4 day training programme to be held at CECOEDECON. After a long working day we arrived back to our hotel which was again a beautiful haveli transformed into a hotel.

Next day in the morning we went straight to our training venue at CECOEDECON (Centre for Community Economics and Development Consultants Society) which is one of Rajasthan’s leading civil society organizations. Its early footprints in the area of disaster relief have eventually progressed into imprinting its presence in more than 15 districts across the states of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. We didn’t have much experience in conducting a mobile survey and top of that conducting training for enumerators for mobile survey was an uphill task as we didn’t know what kind of questions could pop up from the interviewers.

Training with the smart phones brought a zing and happiness in the eyes of the enumerators as many of them haven’t used a smartphone in their lives. They started liking and got attracted to the newly found survey form viz a viz smart phone. They liked the idea of an error free survey which also saves time of the enumerators. Training was held with the smart phones in the campus itself and the enumerators thoroughly enjoyed it. Those who had the smart phone were quick in grasping and some were a bit slow as they haven’t used the smartphone before.

After 2 days of training the 3rd day was kept for field training of the enumerators where they had to survey the people living in the slums and also people living in the colonies. It was quite a hard task in the colonies as initially people were not willing to reply as they thought there conversation was being recorded but after more persuasion by the enumerators they started giving descriptive answers. Carrying out survey in the slums was more easy as they were quick in giving replies, thinking whenever this application is officially launched they will get some relief  from the government departments. It was quite an innovative way for the enumerators to learn from the ground realities and conditions. After the training they were given the feedback on that day itself and how well did they do on the ground.
img09” align=”left” hspace=”12″>Our team dealt with Water and Sanitation Program (WSP part of World Bank) team, team from our partner’s organisation in Jhunjhunu and Ajmer, technical consultants and other enumerators. PRIA handled the 4 day workshop with ease however there were some difficulties initially due to knowledge barriers between so many partners but after a day everybody were at ease and started the conversation on the same page. The training was also informative to all of the new joinees including myself. India is entering into a new era of reforms through mobile based surveys and we at PRIA are happy to be a part of this change.

By Sukant Shukla, PRIA


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