Development Aims and Impacts. The Urban Water Supply and Environmental Improvement Project sought to provide basic services of water supply, sanitation, and garbage collection and disposal in four cities in Madhya Pradesh, India. Impacts include increased access to sustainable water supply and enhanced sanitation infrastructure in these four cities. Over 5.6 million people benefited from improved water supply, while half a million people benefited from an improved wastewater management system and 4.7 million people benefited from an improved solid waste management system. These changes positively impacted the lives of the local community, in particular women and girls, who are primarily responsible for water management. The active participation of women was encouraged and supported, and over 70% of the members of the community group committees (CGCs) were women. The CGCs were responsible for coordinating and overseeing the initiatives concerning water supply and sanitation, and they continue to operate even after the completion of the project, liaising with local government officials. Women built on skills developed during the social mobilization initiatives and other project activities to ensure improved income generation, with many of them continuing to be active leaders at the community level.
ADB Processes and Management Tools. The project design included a gender action plan. A gender manual was developed to guide the integration of gender in the project. Special measures were taken to ensure women’s participation in community-driven planning and decision making. Targets for participation of women in community-based organizations or CGCs were closely monitored, and variations were followed up by both the nongovernment organizations—responsible for organizing, mobilizing, and capacity building of CGCs—and the project staff. The project also partnered with other organizations with capacities related to gender equality that helped in the initial gender analysis of the water and sanitation sector.