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Participatory techniques and didactic methods

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conference contribution
posted on 12.02.2018, 15:08 by John V. Pinfold
WaterAid is a charity created to help people in Africa and Asia improve their water supply and sanitation. Here in Uganda WaterAid, has been providing a variety of water systems to rural communities for over 8 years. More recently there has been a greater emphasis on integrating sanitation activities with water projects. WaterAid has always been committed to community participation but has learnt that for true sustainability, participation means more than just contributing local materials and labour for constructing a water supply. There has been a lot of talk about how “empowerment” of communities is needed to achieve any real sustainability. In practical terms this means that communities must feel that they own the water system and are therefore responsible for the operation and maintenance (O&M). Furthermore, they need to be involved in selecting and promoting improvements in sanitation and hygiene practices, not just be told (read “educated”) what to do. This is easier said than done. Communities need external assistance but donors have to be careful in their approach to communities to make sure their participation in the project leads to sustainable systems. This paper provides the experiences of Programme Support Unit (PSU) which was set up to help develop an approach which enhances the way communities participate in water supply and sanitation initiatives.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

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  • Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC)

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WEDC Conference


PINFOLD, J.V., 1995. Participatory techniques and didactic methods. IN: Pickford, J. et al. (eds). Sustainability of water and sanitation systems: Proceedings of the 21st WEDC International Conference, Kampala, Uganda, 4-8 September 1995, pp.35-37.


© WEDC, Loughborough University


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