Global Thirst for Governing Water: Technologies, Innovations and Drinking Water Governance in India and Ethiopia

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Title: Global Thirst for Governing Water: Technologies, Innovations and Drinking Water Governance in India and Ethiopia
Author: Annala Tesfaye, Linda
Contributor: Hanken School of Economics, Department of Marketing, Supply Chain Management and Social Responsibility
Hanken Svenska handelshögskolan, Institutionen för marknadsföring, Logistik och samhällsansvar
Belongs to series: Economics and society - 345 - Ekonomi och samhälle - 345
ISSN: 0424-7256 (printed)
2242-699X (PDF)
ISBN: 978-952-232-429-0 (printed)
978-952-232-430-6 (PDF)
Abstract: This thesis examines the links between water technologies, innovations and recent reforms in water governance in India and Ethiopia. The overall aim is to understand the processes of drinking water governance and the ways in which the use and practices related to drinking water technologies and innovations are socially constructed in the studied contexts. Specific focus is on the extended participation of communities and individuals in drinking water provision through the governance discourses of co-production and co-creation; these contested discourses influence governmental, private sector actors and end users in constructing meaning systems to drinking water technologies and innovations. The thesis comprises two empirical cases from the city of Ahmedabad in India (Article 1), the Amhara region in Ethiopia (Article 2) and a conceptual article on the hegemonic project of co-creating frugal innovations (Article 3). The study builds on interviews, focus group discussions and policy documents in the studied contexts. In Ahmedabad, interviews and focus group discussions took place with end users, governmental actors and water filter entrepreneurs. In Ethiopia, end users, members of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene committees, governmental actors, NGO representatives, spare part suppliers and artisans were interviewed. The conceptual article draws on Laclau and Mouffe's discourse theoretical approach in studying frugal innovations. By using multiple methodologies, the thesis contributes to the interdisciplinary literature on water governance and to the emerging scholarship on frugal innovations. This thesis adds to the discussions on co-producing drinking water by integrating a governmentality framework to analyse the workings of power among a wide array of co-producing actors. With regard to frugal innovations, the thesis shows how drinking water provision through co-created, frugal household water filters shapes and is shaped by societal relations and people’s roles in water governance. The conceptual analysis shows how the hegemonic understanding of co-creating frugal innovations raises concerns of the heightened potential extraction, exploitation and scaling up of ‘creative sustainability value’ from individuals or communities. Frugal innovation as a concept has been co-opted in a hegemonic project of governing and exploiting the poor in ways conducive to ‘economic development’ as per elite-driven definitions.
Date: 2021-04-30
Subject: drinking water governance
frugal innovation

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