Title

Community ownership of a public good : identifying the socio-cultural context of community-based water management in Senegal

Publication Date

1-1-2006

Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Charles Curry-Smithson

Abstract

This paper seeks to highlight some of the main cultural factors to be considered when designing community-based projects. The focus of the inquiry turns around water management in Senegal, West Africa and seeks to establish a starting point for the broader discussion of formalizing a possible community-based water management system. The method of this study was to use Geert Hofstede's cultural dimensions paradigm as a model for assessing five levels of cultural understanding when working with management frameworks. The findings from the inquiry suggest that exploring these five features of Senegalese culture provide some interesting insights into potential community-based management techniques. Particularly, the inquiry shows how increased cultural understanding of societal inequality, collectivism, gender roles, optimism and planning could better facilitate the long-term success of a Senegalese community-based water management program. The paper attempts to serve as a basis for further debate as to the feasibility of a community-based water management program that could help assure the availability and quality of water in Senegal's future.

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