Systems Thinking and WASH

February 2019

Water supplies in developing countries fail at unacceptable rates. In an era of high technology and a global drive for sustainable water and sanitation (Sustainable Development Goal [SDG] 6), we need to find solutions to the ‘wicked problems’ that characterise water for development programmes around the world. Systems Thinking and WASH introduces practitioners, researchers, programme managers and donors to the tools and approaches that have been most successful in this area. This book explores the different applications of systems thinking used by an interdisciplinary group of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) researchers and practitioners. With additional commentary from the field, each chapter helps us to imagine different ways to understand and work with communities, development agencies and governments to create a better world through more appropriate WASH programming. The book includes an annotated list of additional resources that anyone interested in non-linearity, complex adaptive systems, systems thinking, social network analysis or system dynamics will find useful as a practical guide to getting started. This book is highly important reading for WASH programme managers, government and NGO staff and donor agencies interested in the application of systems thinking techniques.

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