Community-oriented stepwise approach - A Step-by-step approach in drinking water and sanitation projects
25 steps to safe water and sanitation is an account of the experiences gained and lessons learned by Helvetas and local communities in Nepal in the execution of the Self-Reliant Drinking Water Support Programme (SRWSP) over the 7 years it has been in operation (since 1993/94). The most notable change SRWSP introduced is the importance given to the process of social change combined with the delivery of safe drinking water and sanitation. In addition, gender equality, participatory decision making at the local level, and user-friendly technology have all a prominent place in the programme.
The key factor in the success of the project is the community-oriented step-by-step approach of SRWSP. Through this guided stepwise approach to the preparation, construction, and maintenance of the drinking water and sanitation facilities, people in a community are forced to think in ways which encourage critical awareness. This facilitates a process of change. While initially the change may be somewhat superficial, the seeds for a deeper and lasting process of empowerment are implanted.
The community-oriented stepwise process
The SRWSP step-by-step model combines seven advantages:
25 steps to safe water and sanitation takes the reader, in non-technical language, through the various stages of the programme, with explanations and examples where necessary. In addition, issues raised, problems faced and answers found by the communities and programme staff working together are reviewed. The brochure also provides an outlook to the future development of the approach: the major change planned is the move towards Integrated Water Resources Management, including drinking water and sanitation facilities.
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