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Some lessons learned from engaging in WASH participatory action research in Melanesian informal settlements

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conference contribution
posted on 2018-02-12, 15:11 authored by Dani J. Barrington, K.F. Shields, S.G. Saunders, S. Meo, S. Sridharan, R.T. Souter, Jamie Bartram
In Melanesian countries there has been a large flux of people from rural to urban and peri-urban areas, resulting an in increased number living in informal settlements. These settlements often lack connections to mains water and sewerage lines and formal solid waste collection. Our project used a participatory action research (PAR) approach to work in partnership with informal settlement communities and enabling actors to achieve the self-determined WaSH conditions which participants felt would improve the well-being of those living in informal settlements. Because the PAR approach encourages reflection and adaptation, we learned lessons that were incorporated into the design of ongoing and future processes, and this paper presents five such lessons which we judge to be of practical use for WaSH enabling actors.


This research was funded by the Australian Government under the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Development Research Awards Scheme, project number: 201200898.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

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  • Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC)

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WEDC Conference


BARRINGTON, D.J. ... et al, 2017. Some lessons learned from engaging in WASH participatory action research in Melanesian informal settlements. IN: Shaw, R.J. (ed). Local action with international cooperation to improve and sustain water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services: Proceedings of the 40th WEDC International Conference, Loughborough, UK, 24-28 July 2017, Paper 2643, 6pp.


© WEDC, Loughborough University


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