Improving basic urban services in informal settlements - Linking waste research in global South cities

Start date 01/01/2014
End date The project is closed: 31/12/2016
This project aims at comparing research findings on the challenges in organizing household solid waste collection services in informal settlements in cities of the global South (Kisumu, Diadema and Managua), conducted by four research groups with scholars based in Sweden, Kenya, Brazil and Nicaragua.

Numerous programs have been launched to deal with the serious solid waste predicaments in informal settlements - poorly connected to public services and instead served by informal waste pickers - but both in policy and research there is an increasing concern with the so-called ‘knowing-doing gap’. The questions addressed by this research project are therefore: how are waste management programs translated into practice in informal settlements? What are the organizational, social, and spatial difficulties encountered in the organizing of waste management services? How can such difficulties be overcome? The questions are answered through a) interactive workshops with waste actors, and b) scholar seminars between four research groups in each city every year. A relational understanding of organizing and space, influenced by Action-Net and Actor-Network Theory (ANT) is the theoretical starting-point. The expected results are: the transference of previous studies? finding to an international framework; the co-production of knowledge between practitioners and scholars on this issue; and practical responses to the identified challenges.

Publications:
Gutberlet, J., Kain, J.H., Oloko, M., Zapata, P. & Zapata Campos, M.J. (2015) ‘De organización comunitaria a emprendedor socio-ambiental. El caso de la recolección de residuos domiciliarios en asentamientos informales en Kisumu, Kenia’ (From Community-Based Organizations to Socio-Environmental Entrepreneurs. Waste picker entrepreneurs in Kisumu’s informal settlements). Accepted for publication in a special issue of the journal Enfoque, University UCA, Managua, Nicaragua.
Patrik Zapata, project leader (School of Public Administration, University of Gothenburg)
Jutta Gutberlet (Faculty of Education, University of São Paulo)
Michael Oloko (Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology, Kenya)
Maria José Zapata Campos (Gothenburg Research Institute, University of
Funded by Vetenskapsrådet, Swedish Research Links programme
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Published: Wed 30 Nov 2016.