Understanding the Roles of Stakeholders in the Water and Sanitation Sector- Implementation and Operation of Water Supply and Sanitation Systems in the Kanata metropolitan region, Bolivia
Doctoral thesis, 2020
This thesis aims to understand how distinct population segments access safe water and sanitation services, including the role of CBOs and individual households. A qualitative case study approach of the water and sanitation sector of the Kanata metropolitan region, Bolivia was selected. At first, the holistic case of the whole water and sanitation sector was studied through a deductive approach that implied application of transition theory. Secondly, embedded cases of unique interest at the neighbourhood level were included to develop new theories, i.e. inductive reasoning.
Identification and evaluation of the existing water and sanitation regimes in the Kanata metropolitan region highlighted weaknesses that implied opportunities for change. The community actors played a crucial role for service provision and the following internal prerequisites for community-managed water and sanitation systems were identified: agreed vision, collective action, leadership and management. These were then connected to three distinct planning and management phases. Community-managed sanitation systems were, however, less common than community-managed water systems. One explanation was found to be that communal wastewater management included many weaknesses that limited its spread. A number of facilitating factors were identified as crucial for the promotion of community-managed wastewater systems. At the household level, an adoption framework for sanitation facilities, including triggers and veto-barriers, was developed. It was found that most residents can be pushed or pulled into action, i.e. the adoption time can be shortened. For example, timing with other housing improvements and insecurity of daughters while practicing open defecation (OD) triggered many families to implement pour-flush toilets. Some residents did, however, need targeted interventions to overcome veto-barriers.
The findings of this research project may be used by local stakeholders in the Kanata metropolitan region, as well as bring learnings to similar contexts. The identified weaknesses of the water and sanitation regimes open up for changes and transition to safe water and sanitation services for all. The results regarding community management enable customization of external support to CBOs that have or will implement communal water and sanitation systems. In addition, the adoption framework for household sanitation facilitate development programs that aim to speed-up sanitation coverage. Apart from its practical value, this thesis also contributes to unravelling the roles of alternative stakeholders and their importance for speeding-up the access to safe water and sanitation services. It lays the groundwork for theories regarding implementation and operation of community-managed systems and adoption of household sanitation.