Failing arsenic mitigation technology in rural Bangladesh: explaining stagnation in niche formation of the Sono filter
Kundu, D.K. ; Mol, A.P.J. ; Gupta, A. - \ 2016
Water Policy 18 (2016)6. - ISSN 1366-7017 - p. 1490 - 1507.
arsenic mitigation - Bangladesh - safe drinking water - Sono filter - strategic niche management - technological innovation
Arsenic contamination of shallow hand pump tube well drinking water in Bangladesh has created opportunities for radical innovations to emerge. One such innovation is the household Sono filter, designed to remove arsenic from water supplies. Applying a strategic niche management approach, and based on interviews, focus groups and a workshop, this article explains the Sono filter's failure to establish itself as a successful niche technology. Three explanatory factors are identified: lack of a strong social network (of technology producers, donors, users, and government actors) around it; diverging expectations regarding its potential to be a long-term solution; and lack of second-order learning amongst key actors. Beyond these three factors that help to explain the lack of successful niche formation, this paper clearly shows that the overwhelming dependency on fund-driven projects also deters successful niche formation in the context of the developing world.
The consolidation of deep tube well technology in safe drinking water provision: the case of arsenic mitigation in rural Bangladesh
Kundu, D.K. ; Vliet, B.J.M. van; Gupta, A. - \ 2016
Asian Journal of Technology Innovation 24 (2016)2. - ISSN 1976-1597 - p. 254 - 273.
arsenic mitigation - Bangladesh - deep tube well technology - drinking water - Multi-level Perspective on transitions
This paper explains why and how deep tube well as a safe drinking water technology has become dominant in mitigating the arsenic crisis in rural Bangladesh. We do so by applying insights from the Multi-Level Perspective on transitions in explaining changes in the safe socio-technical drinking water regime in rural Bangladesh. Data about seven dimensions of regime change were gathered from key actors through in-depth interviews, focus groups sessions, a survey, and a workshop. The findings reveal that with the introduction of deep tube well as an arsenic mitigation technology, the observed changes in the seven dimensions help to transform the existing safe drinking water regime in order to re-stabilise it. Technological attributes, symbolic meaning, industry structures, and techno-scientific knowledge have supported an evolving dominance of the deep tube well. Besides, user practices as well as related infrastructures have adapted to the use of deep tube wells, and new policies stimulated its application. We argue that the dimensions of the technology change in the existing regime are consistent with the features of incremental innovation. By offering such insights, we show the relevance of the Multi-Level Perspective on transitions to analyse socio-technical innovation in a developing world context.