Intercultural obstacles and resistance in decision-making processes about water and sanitation solutions : experiences of NGOs dealing with sanitation solutions
Keywordswater and sanitation
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AbstractSince clean water and sanitation is one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030 and the water and sanitation crisis still needs improvement and more attention, this thesis will deal with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) providing different solutions for improvement of the crisis, especially in the developing countries. The aim with this research is to investigate what obstacles and resistance the organizations face when they interact with the citizens, how the decisions of agreeing on a solution are made and what participatory methods are used in those countries where the NGOs are providing their alternatives. To do so a deliberative democracy and intercultural communication approach is used as theoretical back-ground to investigate decision-making processes and possible cultural obstacles. In order to gain data I conducted semi-structured interviews with representatives, founders and employees from NGOs that work in different developing countries. Analyzing the empirical data, recreating the interviewees’ subjectivities and combining them with the theoretical knowledge and background, the findings show various obstacles within the topic of water and sanitation that influenced the project processes. Diverse obstacles need to be taken into consideration before the projects start. Further the essence of the problem lies within society that has to get a better understanding for sanitation in order to break the predominant taboo. This includes the government, politicians and policies who have to prioritize the topic and support the organizations that act upon improv-ing the sanitation crisis. Additionally more education and training is needed for the citizens but also for NGOs implementing projects. The government needs to support this in order to finally open up people towards a possible behavior change to use not only the most modern version but according to the organizations the best fitting alternative toilet for people’s living circumstances to get the most advantages for the citizens’ lives.