More than 1 billion people, the vast majority of which live in the developing world, lack basic access to clean water for domestic use. For this reason, finding and promoting effective and sustainable solutions for the provision of reliable clean water in developing countries (and communities) has become a focus of several public health and international development efforts.
Even though several means of providing centrally located sources of clean water in developing countries exist, the severity and widespread nature of the water problem has led most development agencies and sanitation experts to strongly advocate the use of point-of-use (POU) treatment systems alongside whatever source of water people regularly use. In doing so, however, development practitioners have been careful to point out that any interventions or infrastructure regarding water safety and human health must also adhere to one of the central principles of international development: To facilitate more democratic and participatory models of decision making and governance.
This research focused on the development of a deliberative and community-facing risk management framework for involving local people in decisions about POU water treatment systems. This research, which was grounded in previous studies of structured decision-making, took place in two rural villages in the East African nation of Tanzania.