RFP for Supply Chain Gap Study in Bihar and Strengthening of the Rural Sanitation Supply

RFP for Supply Chain Gap Study in Bihar and Strengthening of the Rural Sanitation Supply

Organization: Water For People India

Apply By: 01 Mar 2020

RFP title: RFP for Supply chain gap study in Bihar and Strengthening of the rural sanitation supply chain through capacity building of Farmer Producer Organizations and individual sanitation micro enterprises in Bihar and West Bengal

Deadline: 1st March 2020

About Organization

Water for People India initiated its operations in West Bengal in 1996 in Nadia and North 24 Parganas districts. Consistent with the global vision and mission, we exist to promote the development of high-quality drinking water and sanitation services, accessible to all, and sustained by strong communities, businesses, and governments. Our organizational values are: accountability, courage, empowerment, partnership and transparency. Water for People India programs have been implemented in 27 districts in the states of West Bengal, Bihar, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Odisha and Assam. In all, nearly 1.2 million people have been reached through community drinking water and sanitation, WASH in public institutions and market led approaches to sanitation. By 2023, Water for People India programs aim to directly benefit 2.7 million people. We aim to build capacities at the district level which will contribute to organizational commitments, thereby indirectly benefitting 14.8 million people. Water for People India implements programs through locally registered non-government organizations.

The Context:

There are two components to this TOR.

Part 1

Supply chain Gap Study in Bihar 

The latrine building programs in Bihar, Odisha and West Bengal have been producing good results. There have been an estimated 31,000 latrines built since the program was initiated with 12,500 being built in the last 12 months. They have been supplied by a cohort of 85 cement ring outlets (also called POPs) across just 20 blocks. The efficiency of the process has gradually improved over the last 6 years and taken on an annual basis, Water for People’s investment has come down for every latrine built.

Through this Strengthening initiative, Water for People aims to understand the current landscape of rural latrine building in Bihar to design our further interventions.

Part 2

Strengthening of Supply-chain through promotion of seven new Farmer Producer Organizations in Birbhum and Uttar Dinajpur districts, West Bengal and creation of up to 6 new sanitation micro enterprises in Sheohar, Bihar

Water For People India had initiated a sanitation program with Farmers producers’ organizations in Uttar Dinajpur and Birbhum. The intervention focused on introduction of tiger toilet technology to rural populace as well as delivery of Sanitation services through Farmer Producer Organization promoted POPs. So far around 3 FPOs have started ring production units through demonstration and marketing approaches. Tiger Worm supply chain has also been established through the construction of worm breeders in the area. In Sheohar, Bihar Water For People has been developing individual sanitation micro enterprises and at present there are around 12 POPs delivering sanitation related services.

Through this initiative, Water for People India aims to consolidate the work further in both the geographies and develop a sustainable and scalable sanitation supply chain by means of creating seven new Farmer Producer Organizations and six new sanitation micro enterprises.

Scope of Engagement

Part 1: Sanitation Supply chain Gap Study in Bihar

The study should explore the following hypothesis:

1. That higher densities of POPs lead to higher latrine coverage in villages

To date we are assuming that the presence of a local POP leads to higher toilet coverage in the nearby villages. We have anecdotal evidence that this is case, but we need a rigorous enough study to prove the same or to the contrary.  

2. That the density of POPs is not uniform across the state and there are gaps in POP supply chains within Bihar which is impacting on coverage in the nearby villages.

There are 534 Blocks, 38 Districts in Bihar. We work in just 16 Blocks of 7 districts in Bihar. When we expanded our work to an additional 5 districts of Bihar last year, a further 13 POPs were created in the form of supply chain gap filling process. If the cumulative 7 districts required 13 POPs to fill their gaps, the remaining 31 Districts could require another 50 to 60 POPs to ensure an effective the ring supply chain across the entire state. This figure is only a very rough estimate as there is no data for the location of POPs outside our target districts. Water for People India intends to map the Point of Purchases outside its working area on sample basis in this study.

3. That the poor are gaining access to latrine in villages where extensive latrine building has already occurred. 

Water for People India is not sure to the extent that the marketing process penetrates all sections of society. Some villages which are close to a well-established POP and have undertaken extensive toilet building may have genuinely reach full latrine coverage and the poor have managed to gain access. In other villages where a POP has just been established, even the richer members of the community may have yet to build a latrine. It is also likely that some villages will contain ‘laggards’ who can afford a toilet, but simply refuse to buy on as they prefer open defecation and are resisting change. Whether the genuine poor are gaining access can only be assessed when everybody in the village who desires a latrine has purchased one. People who cannot afford to buy one or have failed to buy one for another reason could be classified as being ‘excluded’, possibly on the grounds of lack of money. The first step is research who has been excluded and for what reasons. The second step to debate and plan solutions, if required.  

 4. That the businesses created are commercially viable, have adequate access to finance and therefore sustainable.

It is felt that the POPs are earning a reasonable living from selling concrete rings and other sanitation products, but we need to have documented evidence to this issue in a manner which would effectively convince the external audience.

5. That growth and the development of the POP supply chain can occur without dependency on donor funds

We foresee that our approach may suffer from the fact that the geographical spread of POPs should be achieved through grants and hence we need to have evidences to the contrary, if that is the case

Along with exploring the above hypothesis, the agency should also probe the following on sample basis:

Quality of toilets constructed including Sanitary surveillance (distance from Water Points, having raised platforms in flood prone areas etc.)

Usage tracking

Have tools for Behaviour Change Communication with the Households

Part 2

Strengthening of Supply-chain through promotion of new Farmer Producer Organizations in Birbhum and Uttar Dinajpur district, West Bengal and new sanitation micro enterprises in Sheohar, Bihar

The POP supply chain catalyzed by WFP India in Bihar and West Bengal has undergone a dramatic form of expansion within the last two years. New businesses have crowded-in into the cement ring supply chain and market forces have reduced the price of a single ring from INR 350 to INR 200. This expansion has been fueled by the increased demand for toilets within the communities and increasing latrine ownership and use. In an internal evaluation done in 2015 it was found that the 8 original POPs opened with the encouragement of our partner had expanded to 22 and a brief visit within February 2017 showed that the numbers had further increased. It is a rare example of spontaneous crowding within the sanitation sector. The aggressive crowding-in is an indication that the process could be taken to scale, but only if the competitive sale of cement rings can be efficiently and cost effectively be spread beyond the boundaries of the initial intervention. This mandate is the basis of our intervention design and we plan to expand the supply chain to new area and to work out the best method for cost effective geographical spread of POPs. 

Key Tasks & Deliverables

For Bihar

  • The agency should conduct the sanitation supply chain gap study exploring the hypothesis outlined above. They should submit the survey samples, tools and reports developed during the course and completion of study. 
  • For Birbhum and Uttar Dinajpur, West Bengal & Sheohar, Bihar Develop 7 new FPOs based PoPs in Birbhum and Uttar Dinajpur West Bengal Develop 6 new POPs in Sheohar, Bihar
  • To research and better understand the process of spreading the POP supply chain to new geographical areas and from this, develop a cost-effective strategy for scaling.
  • To test the assumption on which the process is based, namely
  • The number of POPs is proportional to the number of latrines being built within an area.
  • The latrines construction process is being managed and paid for by the household and this results in high latrine usage. The assumption is that the households would not to go to such efforts for something they did not want or use.
  • The customers are satisfied with their latrine and this permanently changes their behaviour away from open defecation  

Duration of Engagement

The duration of this assignment will be for a period of 7 months (March 2020 – September 2020). Specific time lines:

  • Gap study to be completed by May 2020. Submission of final study design, tools by 1st April 2020.
  • Identification of 6 new POPs in Bihar should be completed by June 2020
  • Identification of 7 new FPO promoted POPs in West Bengal should be completed by September 2020.

Application Process

Interested parties should send a detailed technical & financial proposal, to indiacareers@waterforpeople.org  referencing “Terms of Reference – Supply chain gap study & Strengthening of the rural sanitation supply” in the subject line by or before 1st March 2020.



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