Freshwater Action Network
– grassroots influencing on water and sanitation

Governance partners India

Freshwater Action Network South Asia (FANSA), in India, is coordinating FAN governance work in the region.  Download their latest governance newsletter

Centre for Rural Studies and Development (CRSD)

CRSD is a rights based organization established in 1991. CRSD’s goals are:   

  • To empower rural poor especially dalit and women to organize themselves around their issues and struggle for their rights
  • To support and develop the human, material, environmental resources of these marginalized people 

CRSD has over nineteen years’ experience working to empower the rural poor, especially dalit and women, to organize themselves and struggle for their rights and to develop the human, material, environmental resources of these marginalized people. CRSD is a woman headed organization which reaches out to over 232 villages, taking a rights based approach to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene education.  

Governance work: The villages CRSD works are located in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh state in South India.  This is a semi arid region with very low annual rainfall of about 540 mm.  Due to over exploitation of ground water since 1970s for irrigation purposes, there is acute drinking water shortage in the summer. The drinking water hand pumps go dry and become defunct from lack of maintenance.  So women who are the primary water collectors spend four to six hours to fetch water at odd timings (when the electricity controlled by the state is being supplied with unpredictable power cuts) from the irrigation bore wells fitted with electric motors situated in distant farms, thus walking one to two kilometres daily. 

CRSD asserts it is the constitutional obligation of the state to provide adequate quantity of drinking water to the citizens and also protect water resources as common goods and that from a human rights perspective, the state is duty bound to protect and enable the citizens to enjoy their rights.  Any policy of the state that jeopardizes the ability of the citizens to realize their fundamental rights amounts to the violation of such rights.  

CRSD’s governance work is focused on the right to water in the state of Andhra Pradesh to: 

  • Build an effective community based network on water related issues
  • Regular interaction with the communities through meeting and trainings
  • Analyze policy and laws related to the water and lobby for change through a people centred campaign
  • Analyze the budgets allocated for drinking water, sanitation as per the community needs and in comparison with other allocations to irrigation sector
  • Take up advocacy work with the people’s representatives cutting across the party line by providing them the database to make them to raise the issues in the legislative assembly.
  • Continue to establish positive working relations with government departments 

The purpose of the project is to take up advocacy with the government to access safe drinking water and sanitation facilities in 162 hamlets in Anantapur district of AP.  

Key Achievements so far (July 2010):  

  • Completed the baseline survey in all the 162 hamlets.
  • 70% of advocacy petitions related to drinking water solved (compared to just 17% in the initial first quarter).
  • Successful advocacy campaign to improve facilities in government schools through a survey conducted in 277 schools.
  • Demolition of community dry latrines – a symbol of manual scavenging.
  • Built good rapport - the PR Rural Water Supply Department and AP Housing Corporation and the representatives of Panchyati Raj Institutions.
  • Successfully advocated to nearly 90 civil society organizations in Andra Pradesh to take up water and sanitation issues in some way   

Programme Manager:  

Hilda Grace Coelho

Office: 91+8554- 246872

Fax:  91+8554-246259 , ,

# 12-5-118, New SBI Lakshminarasaiah Colony,

Near AP Housing Board,

Anantapur – 515 001, Andhra Pradesh, India

Gram Vikas 

Gram Vikas' Mission is to promote processes which are sustainable, socially inclusive and gender equitable to enable critical masses of poor and marginalized rural people or communities to achieve a dignified quality of life. 

Governance work: The overall goal of the program is to improve the quality of life of rural communities in four districts in Odisha - Ganjam, Gajapati, Sundergadh and Keonjhar. Presently the program is being in operation in three districts Ganjam, Gajapati and Sundergadh. The programme works through increased access to sanitation infrastructure, promotion of environmental sanitation and appropriate hygiene practices and behavioral change focusing especially on women in their reproductive years, children under five and socially disadvantaged groups in the intervention areas. 

The main aim is to improve the access, coverage and effectiveness of water and sanitation infrastructure by collaborating with local institutions and people’s representatives and form ‘critical mass’ at the village, Panchayat and Block and district level that can be an effective voice to influence and demand for pro- poor policies. This will lead to increase in resource allocation for the sector as a result of demand from 'below'. 

The specific objectives of the program are to: 

  • Strengthen village institutions and Panchayats to enable them to establish, operate and maintain water supply, excreta disposal and environmental sanitation infrastructure in a sustainable manner
  • Promote positive sanitation and hygiene practices among individuals and households for better health status, and increased security, privacy and dignity of women and girls;
  • Build capacities of community based organizations to manage and advocate for sustained water supply and sanitation infrastructure, and strengthen internal systems of democracy, equity, inclusion and governance
  • Increase the institutional capacity of partnering NGOs in implementation, research, advocacy and networking for sustainable community-managed water supply and environmental sanitation program;
  • Conduct pilot interventions and village-based specific research studies on relevant themes which feed in the on-going program, and contribute to innovations and policy related dialogue; and
  • Build learning alliances, document and share best practices and experiences nationally and globally 

Contact Gram Vikas:   

0680 2261866 to 2261869

Mohuda Village, Berhampur 760 002,


Orissa, India

 Society for Advancement in Tribe, Health, Education and Environment (SATHEE) 

SATHEE is working toward the socio-economic empowerment of tribes, oppressed castes and other socially and economically oppressed communities including women and children. 

Governance work: SATHEE’s governance work is focused on water and sanitation rights for the most excluded communities – in particularly tribal groups. SATHEE’s governance work is centered on capacity building of staff and community groups. SATHEE also prepares alternative policies and plans and works to create pressure on the policy makers and other state actors to frame and implement the policy and programmes in a transparent and effective way. 

SATHEE work to raise the issues of gender and excluded communities through the work and ensure effective participation. Community based monitoring and transparency exercises are implemented to demand the accountability and transparency in the water and sanitation sector. And studies and research for evidence based advocacy form the basis of this work. 

Programme Manager: 


Chitragupt Colony, Godda,

Jharkhand, India