Working with Communities

This book documents the work of the Orangi Pilot Project-Research & Training Institute (OPP-RTI) with CBOs and NGOs in replicating its low cost sanitation programme which originated in the lanes and neighbourhood of Orangi in the 1980s. It also deals with the spin-offs of the sanitation programme that include interaction with government agencies on water and sanitation related policy issues; formation of neighbourhood organisations that move on to do ‘other things’ apart from sanitation; the creation of (BO networks, and the development of skills in low-income settlements.

In the process of working with communities, OPP-RTI has learnt a number of lessons, the foremost among them being that the capacity and capability of government institutions can never be successfully built without pressure from organised and knowledgeable groups at the grassroots. It has also found that government officials and agencies respond positively if research findings and development alternatives are supported by large-scale on-site work and public involvement. However, where powerful contractors, consultants and interests of international loan pushing agencies exist, the reservations regarding the alternatives turn into active opposition.

Based on the above lessons, OPP intends to continue supporting local groups all over Pakistan in replicating its low cost sanitation model and building up their expertise and vision. It is also going to try and build a network of these groups so that after a critical mass has been created, they can effectively influence policy decisions on development issues.

Find the book on Amazon.

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