Failing arsenic mitigation technology in rural Bangladesh: explaining stagnation in niche formation of the Sono filter

D.K. Kundu, A.P.J. Mol, A. Gupta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Arsenic contamination of shallow hand pump tube well drinking water in Bangladesh has created opportunities for radical innovations to emerge. One such innovation is the household Sono filter, designed to remove arsenic from water supplies. Applying a strategic niche management approach, and based on interviews, focus groups and a workshop, this article explains the Sono filter's failure to establish itself as a successful niche technology. Three explanatory factors are identified: lack of a strong social network (of technology producers, donors, users, and government actors) around it; diverging expectations regarding its potential to be a long-term solution; and lack of second-order learning amongst key actors. Beyond these three factors that help to explain the lack of successful niche formation, this paper clearly shows that the overwhelming dependency on fund-driven projects also deters successful niche formation in the context of the developing world.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1490-1507
JournalWater Policy
Volume18
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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stagnation
Bangladesh
niche
arsenic
mitigation
filter
lack
innovation
environmental pollution
water management
producer
social network
well water
water
pump
water supply
learning
developing world
drinking water
interview

Keywords

  • arsenic mitigation
  • Bangladesh
  • safe drinking water
  • Sono filter
  • strategic niche management
  • technological innovation

Cite this

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abstract = "Arsenic contamination of shallow hand pump tube well drinking water in Bangladesh has created opportunities for radical innovations to emerge. One such innovation is the household Sono filter, designed to remove arsenic from water supplies. Applying a strategic niche management approach, and based on interviews, focus groups and a workshop, this article explains the Sono filter's failure to establish itself as a successful niche technology. Three explanatory factors are identified: lack of a strong social network (of technology producers, donors, users, and government actors) around it; diverging expectations regarding its potential to be a long-term solution; and lack of second-order learning amongst key actors. Beyond these three factors that help to explain the lack of successful niche formation, this paper clearly shows that the overwhelming dependency on fund-driven projects also deters successful niche formation in the context of the developing world.",
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Failing arsenic mitigation technology in rural Bangladesh: explaining stagnation in niche formation of the Sono filter. / Kundu, D.K.; Mol, A.P.J.; Gupta, A.

In: Water Policy, Vol. 18, No. 6, 2016, p. 1490-1507.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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AU - Kundu, D.K.

AU - Mol, A.P.J.

AU - Gupta, A.

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AB - Arsenic contamination of shallow hand pump tube well drinking water in Bangladesh has created opportunities for radical innovations to emerge. One such innovation is the household Sono filter, designed to remove arsenic from water supplies. Applying a strategic niche management approach, and based on interviews, focus groups and a workshop, this article explains the Sono filter's failure to establish itself as a successful niche technology. Three explanatory factors are identified: lack of a strong social network (of technology producers, donors, users, and government actors) around it; diverging expectations regarding its potential to be a long-term solution; and lack of second-order learning amongst key actors. Beyond these three factors that help to explain the lack of successful niche formation, this paper clearly shows that the overwhelming dependency on fund-driven projects also deters successful niche formation in the context of the developing world.

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