Water, sanitation and hygiene issues in India remain unaddressed, and the primary reason for which is a lack of availability of qualified professionals in this sector. A number of organizations involved in addressing WASH issues in South Asia are very limited as compared to any other development sector.
In 2008, Plan India and WASH Institute conducted a nation-wide study called “Evaluation of Existing Capacities in WATSAN Sector.” The main objective was to review the capacity building efforts taken up in the country with respect to Water and Sanitation, the quality of trained manpower available, and the additional capacity building needs and factors attributing to the lack of enough human resources in the sector. The study analzyed both the demand and supply, which revealed that major chunk of manpower working in the sector is technical in nature especially civil, environmental, water resource management engineers and non technical social engineering. The study revealed that there is no formal mechanisms or channels through which Government departments, NGOs and donors can procure manpower. The study also revealed the mismatch between the recruitment process followed and actual skill set required for performing the particular job.
Regular training to sector workers at all levels, in order to keep them updated on the current trends in the sector including scientific advancements and government policies, was found to be lacking. A separate training insitute with an exclusive focus on meeting the capacity building needs and address the prevailing gap of qualified professionals to work in the sector was much needed. WASH Insitute was hence formed to bridge the gap in providing sustainable community-based solution with respect to WASH sector in the country.