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Table 1

Five key contributing elements enabling water and sanitation sectors towards achieving targets of SDGs

Key elementsFactors supporting an enabling environment
Policy strategy The Government of India's policies, Acts and programmes (Table 1; Supplementary Material, Table 2), have tremendously contributed towards SDG 6, the main enabling factors being conducive legislation, effective regulation, improved structure for implementation, ambitious targets, enhanced institutional framework, leadership, commitment & vision, multistakeholder participation, community involvement, use of technology in implementation, monitoring and reporting, innovative finance options, and recognition and rewards (TERI University 2017; Agarwal et al. 2019; Curtis 2019). 
Institutional arrangement The responsibility at the Central and State levels is shared by various Ministries and State Departments. The five-tier institutional structure ensures enhanced institutional support for planning, monitoring and implementation of SBM at the National, State, District, Block, and Gram Panchayat (GP) levels with the support of institutions for programme monitoring such as the Programme Units, Technical Support Units, Resource groups and Local Self-Governments (LSGs). (World Bank 2015). Various Government Departments, city administrations and LSGs are responsible for the implementation of drinking water supply and sanitation policies and programmes in their respective states. Decentralisation has also been promoted. All of these together have created an enabling environment towards realising the related SDG targets (NITI Aayog-United Nations 2019). 
Sector financing Finance being a crucial factor supporting the policies for an enabling environment, it is critical to note that the investment in the water and sanitation sectors has increased manifolds through the Central Government schemes like Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (until 2014) and the SBM and Har Ghar Jal of JJM since 2014 (Sarkar 2020). In 2020–2021, the government had allocated Rs 30,478 crores (304,780 million) to the Ministry of Jal Shakti, of which Rs. 21,500 crores (215,000 million) were provisioned for drinking water and sanitation. The JJM allocated Rs. 11,500 crores (115,000 million) separately. In 2021–2022, the government has allocated Rs 50,000 crores (500,000 million) for drinking water and Rs 10,000 crores (100,000 million) for sanitation. The budget allocation for JJM and the Ministry has increased by 450 and 180%, respectively, as compared to 2020–2021 (JJM/PIB India 2021). One of the key factors for effective implementation is the utilisation of innovative sources for funding, e.g. in the Swachh Bharat Cess (SBC), Swachh Bharat Kosh (Clean India Fund) or Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) contributions: Municipal bonds and Community Resources Special Purpose Vehicles (Norman & Renouf 2016), microfinance, crowdfunding and bank funding has also been seen in the sanitation sector in India (TERI University 2017). 
Planning monitoring and review Comprehensive web-based online monitoring system was one of the main factors that contributed towards the monitoring of progress and success in the realisation of the targets. Household-level monitoring has improved the transparency, real-time monitoring using online automated SMS systems for communication with beneficiaries, mobile applications for uploading photographs, geo-tagging of interventions, module for monitoring ODF on IMIS and community participation in ranking in the Swachh Survekshan on Swachh App which have all enabled enhanced monitoring (SBM website). 
Capacity development Few of the factors that have supported capacity building in creating enabling environment are interventions from donor and bilateral agencies (such as UNICEF, USAID, EU, GIZ, World Bank, BMGF, ADB and AFD), use of technology, scaling digital capacity and planning effective IEC in realising behavioural change (PAC 2019; WASH Institute 2019; NIUA 2020). 
Information Education and Communication (IEC) is known to have a crucial impact on behavioural change in realising improvement in water and sanitation sectors. Several IEC, mass awareness and participatory communication activities have been conducted for monitoring the implementation and assessing the impact of communication (PAC 2019). 
The SBM, for instance, has an allocation of 8% for IEC (3% for Centre and 5% for State). This is one of the largest and long-term IEC programmes with national coverage and an investment of Rs 2,050 crores (20,500 million) to be used for multi-level conventional and unconventional channels contributing towards creating an enabling environment for realising the desired progress (WASH Institute 2019). 
Key elementsFactors supporting an enabling environment
Policy strategy The Government of India's policies, Acts and programmes (Table 1; Supplementary Material, Table 2), have tremendously contributed towards SDG 6, the main enabling factors being conducive legislation, effective regulation, improved structure for implementation, ambitious targets, enhanced institutional framework, leadership, commitment & vision, multistakeholder participation, community involvement, use of technology in implementation, monitoring and reporting, innovative finance options, and recognition and rewards (TERI University 2017; Agarwal et al. 2019; Curtis 2019). 
Institutional arrangement The responsibility at the Central and State levels is shared by various Ministries and State Departments. The five-tier institutional structure ensures enhanced institutional support for planning, monitoring and implementation of SBM at the National, State, District, Block, and Gram Panchayat (GP) levels with the support of institutions for programme monitoring such as the Programme Units, Technical Support Units, Resource groups and Local Self-Governments (LSGs). (World Bank 2015). Various Government Departments, city administrations and LSGs are responsible for the implementation of drinking water supply and sanitation policies and programmes in their respective states. Decentralisation has also been promoted. All of these together have created an enabling environment towards realising the related SDG targets (NITI Aayog-United Nations 2019). 
Sector financing Finance being a crucial factor supporting the policies for an enabling environment, it is critical to note that the investment in the water and sanitation sectors has increased manifolds through the Central Government schemes like Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (until 2014) and the SBM and Har Ghar Jal of JJM since 2014 (Sarkar 2020). In 2020–2021, the government had allocated Rs 30,478 crores (304,780 million) to the Ministry of Jal Shakti, of which Rs. 21,500 crores (215,000 million) were provisioned for drinking water and sanitation. The JJM allocated Rs. 11,500 crores (115,000 million) separately. In 2021–2022, the government has allocated Rs 50,000 crores (500,000 million) for drinking water and Rs 10,000 crores (100,000 million) for sanitation. The budget allocation for JJM and the Ministry has increased by 450 and 180%, respectively, as compared to 2020–2021 (JJM/PIB India 2021). One of the key factors for effective implementation is the utilisation of innovative sources for funding, e.g. in the Swachh Bharat Cess (SBC), Swachh Bharat Kosh (Clean India Fund) or Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) contributions: Municipal bonds and Community Resources Special Purpose Vehicles (Norman & Renouf 2016), microfinance, crowdfunding and bank funding has also been seen in the sanitation sector in India (TERI University 2017). 
Planning monitoring and review Comprehensive web-based online monitoring system was one of the main factors that contributed towards the monitoring of progress and success in the realisation of the targets. Household-level monitoring has improved the transparency, real-time monitoring using online automated SMS systems for communication with beneficiaries, mobile applications for uploading photographs, geo-tagging of interventions, module for monitoring ODF on IMIS and community participation in ranking in the Swachh Survekshan on Swachh App which have all enabled enhanced monitoring (SBM website). 
Capacity development Few of the factors that have supported capacity building in creating enabling environment are interventions from donor and bilateral agencies (such as UNICEF, USAID, EU, GIZ, World Bank, BMGF, ADB and AFD), use of technology, scaling digital capacity and planning effective IEC in realising behavioural change (PAC 2019; WASH Institute 2019; NIUA 2020). 
Information Education and Communication (IEC) is known to have a crucial impact on behavioural change in realising improvement in water and sanitation sectors. Several IEC, mass awareness and participatory communication activities have been conducted for monitoring the implementation and assessing the impact of communication (PAC 2019). 
The SBM, for instance, has an allocation of 8% for IEC (3% for Centre and 5% for State). This is one of the largest and long-term IEC programmes with national coverage and an investment of Rs 2,050 crores (20,500 million) to be used for multi-level conventional and unconventional channels contributing towards creating an enabling environment for realising the desired progress (WASH Institute 2019). 
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