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Planning for sustainable water supply projects in Bangladesh: Public Participation in practice
Linköping University, The Tema Institute.
2006 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Magister), 20 points / 30 hpStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Naturally occurring arsenic in ground water is currently threatening millions of people’s lives in Bangladesh and has emerged as one of the world’s largest water pollution and environmental disasters. Various studies have been conducted in order to find a solution to the problem and several mitigation projects have been conducted with various results. In many cases the mitigation options provided have failed in terms of sustainability, why there is an impatient drive to find the solution that can solve the problem permanently. Since technical solutions appear to be hard to transform into practical implementation many professionals are advocating the use of public participation in sustainable project planning and implementation in order to make the project successful. This Minor Field Study focuses on how an environmental problem can be managed through social processes. The main aim of this study is to investigate peoples’ experiences of public participation and project planning from two rural pipeline water supply projects and discuss how these experiences relate to how ideas about public participation might be used for sustainable project planning. To do this I have studied three key groups of actors: national development professionals, project professionals and local project beneficiaries. The aim is also to get a deeper understanding of how public participation within water supply management can be used and further developed for project sustainability. The results show that the implementing organisation has used a project implementation plan with a vision that public participation motivated by sustainability and cost-efficiency will lead to a process towards collective action. The objective is that the users, through joint ownership, takes full responsibility for the project and its future planning. To enable this, learning is a prerequisite given that without understanding and knowledge of how to operate the water supply system, the project and the system will fall short. A learning platform has also been found as a prerequisite for maintaining of public participation, and for interest and motivation of being involved at all. The theory argues for the importance of involvement of all for a sustainable project process, nevertheless is this not made possible in reality. Due to socio-cultural traditions where women are not accepted to attend public meetings or be involved in decision-making, the empowering process that public participation might facilitate, have been neglected. Further have those who are incapable of paying regularly for access to fresh drinking water been excluded from the projects. To attain the efficient bottom-up action wanted to achieve project sustainability, empowerment in combination with public participation is necessary. An improved methodology of how public participation can be integrated in project planning is compulsory, why more practical experience and continuous project evaluations is needed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institutionen för tema , 2006. , 40 p.
Keyword [en]
Arsenic, Bangladesh, Pipeline water supply, Public Participation, Project planning
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-7361ISRN: LIU-TEMA/MV-D--06/14--SEOAI: diva2:22372
Available from: 2006-09-18 Created: 2006-09-18

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