On March 27th, 2019, FINISH (Financial Inclusion Improves Sanitation & Health) Society, inaugurated the 1 millionth toilet constructed in India in Dahiya District, Uttar Pradesh. FINISH Society has been the off-spring and future of the FINISH Public-Private Partnership initiated in 2009 by WASTE, ACTIAM, United Nations University (UNU Netherlands), TATA-AIG and several Indian micro-finance institutions. This PPP was supported by DGIS (the Dutch Government). FINISH Society started in 2010 and has been a leader in the toilet revolution that has been taking India by storm over the last decade.
On the 24th of May, the team gathered at the Residence of the Dutch Ambassador to India in New Delhi with their numerous local and corporate partners to celebrate this great success and to further collaborate on the future of said partnerships. Since sustainability was the key concern among WASH (water, sanitation & hygiene) professionals, the program was aptly titled ‘Sanitation in the Circular Economy’ aiming to engage the community in innovative thinking on how to grapple with all that goes into completing the circular economy of waste.
In his keynote address, Dutch Ambassador HE Marten Van den Berg remarked: “FINISH is one of the flagship programmes of the Government of Netherlands. Through this program, partners will work on sustainable sanitation market-development in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Kenya, India, Tanzania and Uganda to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6. The Dutch Government [prioritizes] local and commercial financial resources, gender equality and integration of sanitation with renewable energy and food security. Under FINISH Mondial, [several financial innovations as well as] reuse of co-compost in agriculture are in-line with Dutch development policies and ultimately contribute to the SDGs in these six countries.”
In his welcome address, Chairman Dr. Kulwant Singh, remarked, “The objective of the event is twofold: First, to place on record our deep sense of gratitude to all our partners who were part of this journey by recognizing their big contributions. Secondly, to explain the next phase of the program called FINISH Mondial with the long-term objective of reaching the sanitation SDG in the six Mondial countries.”
The session was brilliantly moderated by Ms. Maya Acharya, Senior Policy Advisor, Dutch Embassy. The FINISH team took this opportunity to recognize a handful of partners who helped to make this programme a success, including:
Bharathi Women Development Centre (Pioneer Award), ITC Ltd. (Corporate Innovation), Cairn Oil & Gas Ltd. (Corporate Innovation), DCM Shriram Foundation (Swacch School), Rural Development Organization (RDO) Trust (Circular Economy), National Stock Exchange Foundation, Cashpor Micro Credit, Tata Power Community Development Trust (TPCDT) (Enriching Partnerships), Mr. K K Gupta, Chairman, Dungarpur Nagar Parishad (Lifetime Achievement).
Going Global: Innovating on Development Financing
FINISH Mondial (FM) is a scalable approach derived from the successes of FINISH Society in India. The programme starts with ensuring: people are aware of the need for a safe and durable toilet, people want to buy one, which local people can build, and that they can afford. This can be achieved when the identified key stakeholders (communities, businesses, financiers, and governments) facilitate inclusive scale. The FM approach has been remarkably successful to date, improving and constructing over 1 million safe sanitation systems (designed to safely manage faecal sludge), benefiting ~4 million people so far, converting over 25,000 tonnes of human waste into compost/soil conditioner, and contributing to Open Defecation Free (ODF) villages across both India and Kenya.
» Due to FM operations in India, 273,750 tonnes of human waste have been safely stored to date. FM aims to contain and recycle up to 1 million tonnes of faecal sludge, saving an estimated 37.5 million tonnes CO2. Converting [human] waste into valuable products presents promising business opportunities, thus creating employment in a climate-positive manner, restoring previously exploited local environments.
The next phase of the FINISH programme will continue in the toilet contruction business, supporting local entreprenuers to develop fruitful sanitation businesses, especially in waste management and creating valuable products out of the collected waste.
Financial Leveraging for Sanitation
The FINISH model works by leveraging financing to expand both the sanitation service and value chain, connecting the two sectors to create sustainable sanitation and waste infrastructure, meanwhile developing innovative financing instruments (e.g. the ‘first of its kind’ Sanitation Impact Bond in India, the Take-a-Stake Fund for small and growing businesses in the WASH sector (India, Kenya, Uganda)) and sustainable circular economies which will continue to thrive long after intervention. The scalability of this model has been proven and its mechanisms are ideal for leveraging grant financing to achieve its desired full scale. FM provides a model to significantly increase private sector contribution to sanitation. The next phase sets a target to match each euro grant at least 14 times.
Synergizing Scale & Impact Through SDGs
FINISH Mondial’s primary focus is on contributing to SDG 6.2: By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations. Through the realisation of 5.5 million safe sanitation systems, 27.6 million people will have gained access and use safe sanitation by 2025. This amounts to half of the Dutch government’s 2030 target. Furthermore, in the modus operandi of FM, gender equality is at the forefront. FM aims to positively contribute to improving gender equality across the sanitation service and value chain. FM will empower women and girls in several ways, e.g. by improving access to sanitation at home and at school, through financial inclusion, and through employment opportunities.