WCCD April Pojman - A Case Study in Communication for...

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A Case Study in Communication for Social Change: Strengthening Municipal Capacity in Water and SanitationI. Background & Context Introduction This paper describes the context and content of a project to improve municipal capacity in water and sanitation in Peru from a communication for social change perspective. Focusing on the non-governmental organization’s (NGO) social team, it draws on qualitative data that was gathered using a visual action research methodology based on Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) and Rapid Appraisal of Agricultural Knowledge Systems (RAAKS) techniques. It documents the communication and collaboration that have developed between the project’s teams, the water company in which they were embedded, schools and the general public. Based on this case study, the paper suggests how communication for social change principles could be applied in other capacity development projects of this type. Approximately 1.3 billion people in the developing world lack access to adequate supplies of clean water, and nearly 3 billion people are without sanitary means of disposing of their feces. Consequently, an estimated 10,000 people die every day from water- and sanitation-related diseases, and thousands more suffer from associated illnesses (Bosch et al. 2000). The United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals highlight consistent access to water and sanitation as a basic human right, and while progress has been made on this health and environmental issue, the Human Development Report (2005: 42) warns, “the target of halving the number of people without sustainable access to improved water sources will be missed by about 210 million people. Another 2 April Pojman, Institutional StrengthenerUNAIS, La Paz, Bolivia[email protected],
billion people will also lack access to an improved sanitation sources in 2015.”In response to the inability of governments to provide clean water consistently or to devise reliable systems for other agencies to do so, community water management was identified during the UN’s International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade of the 1980s, as one of six prerequisites for sustainable water and sanitation services for the world’s population. The New Delhi Statement in 1990 drew together the lessons from the previous decade and declared that communities should be involved not only in the inception phase but also should assume responsibility and ownership for the entire lifecycle of the system. The Dublin statement in 1992 called for the devolution of water management to the most local level possible and at the same time declared water to be an economic good, opening the way for large scale water privatizations (Schouten & Moriarty 2003). Water & Sanitation in PeruAccording to the 2005 Human Development Report, 74 percent of the Peruvian population had reliable access to improved water sources in 1990 while 81 percent did in 2002. Meanwhile the percentage of the population with access to improved sanitation

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