Sammaan is looking for a Project Manager

We will soon be hiring a Project Management Company to overlook construction. We are thus looking for an experienced Project Manager to manage their efforts, to represent the project consortium to the government and to oversee the project overall. Please find below a detailed job description for the same, along with job requirements and eligibility criteria.

Project Sammaan_Project Manager_Job Description_4 June

An Engineer’s Retrospective

Approaching the one-year mark of my involvement with Project Sammaan, I’ve spent a good deal of time lately reflecting on not only this initiative but the sanitation situation in India as a whole as well.

Being a part of this project is in and of itself something I take a lot of pride from. As it’s my first professional venture and one that involves working on a just cause (i.e., to address the serious and severe shortfall of sanitation facilities for urban communities, which, till date, is most neglected in India), my one true hope is that I can do my bit and contribute in a positive manner. It’s been a wonderful experience in meeting amazing people from different domains (more…)

Developing Sammaan’s Toolkit

While there has been a considerable amount of activity in the past few months on the tendering front for the toilet facilities in Bhubaneswar & Cuttack, we have also simultaneously started working on the toolkit. The toolkit is an essential part of Project Sammaan, aiming to put together guidelines for effective sanitation interventions in low-income urban contexts, based on our own experiences and learnings from Project Sammaan.

Through the detailed design exercises and fine-tuning our understanding of what works and what doesn’t work, an essential outcome of the project will be the toolkit, that will include a set of “blueprints” for future infrastructure projects that will be (more…)

Identity Development

After a lull in the identity design development workstream over the last two months, December saw significant progress made on the identity. Codesign shared an updated branding presentation, which incorporated feedback received from previous discussions, as well as improvements and explorations that had been developed internally.


Identity Design

The focus of the current iteration of the identity development exercise is to create an identity that strikes an (more…)

Project Dissemination Activities

In the middle of all the madness that surrounds the release of tenders this month, we have somehow presented Project Sammaan at more forums this last fortnight than we have in the last year. This could be just plain coincidence, or that we are a little more comfortable talking about the hardware phase of the project now that the architectural designs are complete and the tenders are ready to be floated.

Whatever the reason for that may be, one thing it forces you to do is to distill down the project to its most basic parts. So here’s a 10-minute, podium pitch on what Project Sammaan has achieved to date and the key challenges (which have also been written about in a post here):


To-Date Achievements

Project Sammaan has been going full-steam ahead for well over a year now. Several posts have been written over the last few months detailing the many challenges that have been faced thus far, so we thought it pertinent to review the achievements that the team is most proud of.

1. Facility design features were finalized.

After months of internal deliberations and community engagement exercises, the design features of the facilities were agreed upon, thereby allowing the individual facility designs to proceed. This is the first, most critical, component of the design process and one that seeks to shift the Potty Project findings from the conceptual phase and into practice.


Building Momentum

These are early days still to claim success but we may have finally managed to move the project forward through a small but extremely important milestone – the tendering of public toilets in Bhubaneshwar. The technical sanction and Public Health standing committee approvals are in place and the tender documents await the administrative sanction before they are floated on the e-tendering platform of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation.

Like I said, this is a small but extremely important milestone for the project consortium, and here’s why.


India’s Sanitation Challenges & Project Sammaan

The sanitation in India is in a critical state with sanitation habits varying based on socio-cultural practices. In a country with 35% of the population illiterate, effective communication of public health-related issues, like sanitation, is a big challenge. In spite of mega ventures like Central Rural Sanitation Programme (CRSP) and the Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC, also known as the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan), 60% of the population does not have a proper structure for defecation and 90% of children’s feces is not properly managed, 23 million children below the age of 14 in urban India are at risk from poor sanitation, and 8 million children in urban areas are at risk from poor water supply leading to diarrheal disease.

Despite these programs, around 60% percent of the population remains without access to adequate sanitation. The vast majority of this unreached population is poor, rural inhabitants. By a simple estimate, India needs to ensure an additional 106 million people have access to toilets to meet the MDG target. Approximately one million people, most of them children, die due to sanitation-related diseases every year. Additionally, shame, indignity, and nuisance are inflicted upon millions of its’ people due to inadequate sanitation.



Operations & Maintenance (O&M) is one of the four pillars of innovation, primarily due to the fact that shortcomings and failures within this largely determines the success of the facilities.

Given the importance of this workstream, a great deal of time and effort has gone into understanding the current models that are employed, while exploring practical changes that can be made to operating and maintaining these facilities while improving the quality of life of the caretakers themselves, both through their perceived value and position within the communities they serve and by addressing unfair business practices that put an undue financial strain on them.


Challenges of a Multi-Stakeholder Engagement

For a large infrastructure project of this nature, multiple stakeholders are a given. Within this dynamic there is an overall project objective, but also individual organizational goals that need to be taken into consideration and addressed. At times, these individual mandates can conflict with the project’s overall goals with one team’s workstream impacted by the needs of another’s.

An example of this can be found in the innovation and design mandates. Imperative for some of the partners, these directives require considerable and conscientious ideation. This alone can be seen by stakeholders with limited understanding of the complexities and intricacies of design innovation as a delay.