Rigour, Timeliness, and Trade-offs in Research: Experience From India’s Swachh Bharat Mission
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This article presents lessons learnt from the evolution and usage of rapid action learning methods developed to support the Swachh Bharat Mission – Gramin (the Clean India Mission – Rural) in India. The Mission, started in 2014, aimed to change the sanitation behaviours of over 530 million people across 706 districts in five years. Participatory, action-orientated research and learning methods were trialled with government implementers, development partners, and communities. It was found that these methods enabled both a greater understanding of impacts at the community level, horizontal learning across districts, and the capacity development of Mission implementers.