Information, Education and Communication (IEC) is an extremely important component of Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) that lays the basis for successful implementation of the programme. It serves as a platform for informing, educating and persuading people to realize their roles, responsibilities and benefits accruing from investing in right sanitation practices. IEC play a very critical role in bringing behavior change on various aspects of safe sanitation, creating effective demand, usage and links to health and hygiene. The role of IEC in Demand generation for sanitary facilities is well recognized. The Sanitation programme for its success and sustainability requires empowered, well aware and skilled stakeholders capable of planning, implementation, operation, maintenance and management of sanitation schemes. The focus of Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) is on behaviour change of people to adopt safe sanitation and hygiene. In order to educate the people, the programme lays emphasis on community involvement. Up to 8% of total resources can be spent on Information, Education and Communication (IEC) - of these 5% are to be spent at the State and district levels. The States have been advised to spend at least 60% of IEC funds for inter-personal communication (IPC) activities. Many States are focusing on community approach, wherein the people are directly triggered and made aware about the importance of sanitation and hygiene using some triggering tools. Besides, conventional IEC tools are also used to educate the people. Trainings of Collectors and key stakeholders are being done regularly on people’s education. Conventional IEC approaches like posters, pamphlets, wall writing, etc. may be undertaken but they have limited appeal and impact. The best way to create impact has been to follow a holistic approach that empowers communities through participatory, methodologies, which ‘trigger’ the minds of the community members to take informed decisions regarding their sanitation status. The communication at community level can be supplemented by a mass media Behavior Change Communication (BCC) initiative, which focuses on changing social and cultural norms regarding open defecation and maintaining a clean environment, which will not only change behaviors, but most importantly, support sustainability of the behavior change.
Ministry has come up with a Sanitation Hygiene and Communication Strategy (SHACS) in order to provide a broad framework to the States for the implementation of BCC activities to increase awareness among rural people, generation of demand for sanitation facilities and creation of clean environment. The focus of SHACS is on Inter Personal Communication (IPC), on which 60% of the IEC budget is proposed to be spent.