The Role of Training Programs in the Sustainability of Potable Water Projects

Carty, Monica K.

In rural regions around the world, 1.7 billion people rely on public taps, hand-pumps, protected wells, protected springs, and rainwater for clean drinking water. Up to the present, there has been little focus on how training programs in communities receiving the water points fit into the overall picture of sustainability. Many factors of sustainability such as financial management and operation, and governance of the water point are dependent on human skill, which are often first exposed to a community through training programs. To understand better how trainings affect the sustainability of water points, I sent surveys to personnel from NGOs who have worked as trainers in water development projects in Senegal, Malawi, Honduras, and India. I also conducted surveys and focus groups with NGO personnel and the community members who went through their trainings in three villages in Senegal. I then compared perspectives of trainers and community members using Grounded Theory, facilitated by using Nvivo 10. The results of all four countries' results from NGO personnel showed that the central themes found in responses were management, community, knowledge, NGO and community relations, and the trainer-learner relationship. Comparing the central themes of the trainers and learners in Senegal, the two groups' responses showed that mutually tied themes were knowledge, management, mechanical, and profits/finances. In order to improve training to make water points more sustainable, I recommend that NGOs consider how people trained will relate to the rest of the community, and furthermore, see how the trainings and information learned will function in the community after the NGO leaves the community.


Also Published In

Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development

More About This Work

Academic Units
Earth Institute
Published Here
December 8, 2015