COODU has always associated itself with the Govt. in bringing development to the door steps of the people from all walks of life. In keeping with this mission, the organization expressed its interest in creating awareness among the people and to facilitate the people to take pro-active measures in the sectors of water and sanitation and other Rural Development Programmes, in association with the CAPART. Entrusted with this task by the CAPART, the organization mobilized the elected representatives of local bodies, the CBOs, the youth, Govt. field staff, teachers and SHG members in all Panchayats of Sulur Block in Coimbatore district and imparted training on the Rural Development Programmes. The training programme included techniques on harvesting rain water & judicious use of water, the need for sanitation and best hygienic practices, infrastructural facilities and management of community assets. The trainees were constituted into committees at the Panchayat Level and as TOTs, they trained groups of youth and SHG members in the villages. The organization organized massive rallies, flag hoisting, street corner meetings, cultural programmes to create awareness on Rural Development Programmes, with special emphasis on Water and Sanitation. The organization also facilitated the committees to conduct village Padasalas to involve people in Rural Development Programme and to execute infrastructure works efficiently and to monitor its execution in a transparent manner. The organization prepared IEC materials, such as posters, hand bills, banners, photo exhibits, video clippings, etc., to conduct the campaign on a saturation level. The campaign has raised the level of awareness on Rural Development Programmes among the people to such an extent that the Grama Sabhas have become strong enough to manage the PRIs more transparently and efficiently and its meetings have been transformed into enlivened interactive concourses beneficial to the whole society.
Nirmal Gram Puraskar Award is an award given by Central Government to the Total sanitation villages. The villages to be selected for this award should have the following facilities - adequate personal and community toilets, drainage facilities, separate functional toilets for girls and boys in schools and clean and tidy environment without waste water stagnation anywhere.
The main objective of this award is
COODU has been constructive in not only mobilisation of people at the grassroots level with a focus on the poorest of the poor but also enabled in voicing its views at appropriate forums thereby influencing policy and engaging in necessary advocacy-related activities. In all districts where COODU implements programmes, it has maintained good rapport with the district administration through the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA).
In all sectors of development, prior to launch of a programme, COODU conducts a need-based Community Needs Assessment to examine the current priorities of the community that is to be followed up by an action plan for implementation. Thus, COODU’s Community Needs Assessment extends to planning for Watershed development, income generating programmes for women, identification of needs of People Living with HIV/ AIDS, environmental development and so on. Such assessments are done through participatory approach involving all affected people in the village/ group.
COODU has conducted Training Needs Assessment of its project personnel thereby identifying their needs and providing with appropriate training in skill building and enhancement of capabilities. Thus, COODU has provided Leadership Training, Training on Use and Access of Information and Vocational Training especially to marginalised groups.
The participatory approach entails use of participatory methodology in assessing and monitoring socio-economic development activities at the grassroots level. COODU has earned the expertise in not only conducting Participatory Rural Appraisals (PRA) in its project areas but has also extended training other NGOs and CBOs as well as officials of various departments in PRA techniques.
The various tools used under the PRA method include:
a. Transect Walk
b. Participatory Resource Mapping
c. Social Mapping
d. Seasonal Calendar
e. Wealth Ranking
f. Participatory Venn Diagram
g. Time Line and Trends
h. Flow Diagram (Cause and Effect Relationship)
i. Tree-preference Matrix Ranking
j. SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats)
The Public Works department (Environment Cell Division) Coimbatore has entrusted COODU with the task of preparing an atlas of natural resources in the sub-basins of Aliyar, Agniyar, Palar and Ambuliyar in the districts of Coimbatore and Tiruppur. The organization carried out a through survey of the Sub-Basins situated in mountaineous terrains, valleys and plains and made a study of its flora and fauna and water resources. Water samples were collected and tested as to its quality pollution caused by sewage, effluents and emission was detected and recorded. Finally the resources were mapped and the planning of intervention, conservaton and development measures.
In the background of the Tsunami and other calamities, the Government has directed the urban and rural local bodies to prepare Disaster Management Plans to cope with natural and other disaster/calamities such as Tsunami, Earthquake, Fire, Flood, etc. The Municipal Corporation of Coimbatore, as directed, entrusted formulation of ‘Urban Earthquake Vulnerability ReductionProject’ to the organization created a database on the ward profile by conduct of Participatory Learning Methods involving elected representative es, officials and the people at the ward level and, based on the existing as well as required infrastructures, formulated the disaster management plan.
GIS in Micro-watershed Planning
COODU uses the latest technology along with local knowledge obtained by the people to fine tune its project activities. In this context, COODU has used Geographical Information System (GIS) in preparation of Watershed Atlas in planning for Micro-watersheds. The maps are digitised and final reports are prepared crosschecking data through satellite-generated aerial maps.
Concurrent monitoring and evaluation is critical for all projects. COODU pursues stringent monitoring and evaluation of individual projects through periodic monitoring. Monthly, Quarterly, Half-yearly Monitoring and Terminal Evaluation at the end of the project phase are important means of assessing project performance. Key performance Indicators are developed on the basis of which projects are monitored. More importantly, feedback obtained at the end of each cycle is fed into redesigning projects for maximum output.
Awareness campaigns are conducted in the delineated watershed areas sensitizing the public on the importance of the project, the proposed outcomes and benefits they would receive as a result of the watershed programme. Cultural programmes are conducted in strategically located villages involving local folk artists as well. IEC materials are printed and distributed to all people in the watershed villages. Wall writings, banners, posters and mobile announcements generate the necessary awareness about the project among the people. This is followed by other methodologies of obtaining information from the villagers through the participatory approach.
Participatory Rural Appraisals using various PRA tools and techniques are conducted to obtain information on the topography of the land, soil structure, water resource utilisation, seasonal crops, rainfall and cropping patterns, preference for trees and history of the area. The PRAs facilitate rapport building with the community and the entire community decide on common activities.
Following PRAs various groups are formed such as User Groups, Area Groups, Water Users Association, Self Help Groups among women in the watershed areas and so on. The focus is also on strengthening the existing village level institutions (local bodies such as Panchayats)
The following scheme works were undertaken in all the watersheds under various programmes:
>> In situ Soil and Moisture Conservation
- Summer Ploughing
- Farm Bunding
- Stone Bunding
- Stone boulder check dams
- Vegetative barrier
>> Water Resource Development
- Minor Check dam
- Major Check dam
- Percolation Pond
- Renovation of existing tanks
- Farm Ponds
- Cattle ponds
>> Afforestration and Pasture Development
- Fodder raising
- Integrated Pest Management
- Bio-Manure production
>> Other activities
- SHG Formation
- Capacity Building of SHGs
Some of the successful income generation activities engaged by women SHG through the support of COODU include:
i. Maintenance of Public conveniences:
With acute shortage of Sanitary workers, the Corporation of Coimbatore was unable to properly maintain Public conveniences and therefore approached COODU to facilitate in maintaining eightyone (81) public conveniences in three zones comprising Coimbatore North, West and East.
COODU engaged urban SHGs in maintaining them in the year 2007 for an year, using water sprayer, lime and Phenyl to clean daily. As the Public Conveniencs were located in areas inhabited by people belonging to lower strata without Individual House Hold Latrines, the service was much appreciated.
ii. Maintenance of FOOT PATH around RACE COURSE: With the objective of providing an aesthetic environment around the Race Course in Coimbatore, the District Administration entrusted this task to COODU, after obtaining consent and assurance of Industrialists and traders to contribute towards its maintenance in the year 2007. The Organisation formulated a Plan to keep the Walkers Path clean and also water the plants on either side of the path, thus keeping the pathway, measuring 3.5 KM, green and lushy and providing visual treat to the walkers and others.