The consolidation of deep tube well technology in safe drinking water provision: the case of arsenic mitigation in rural Bangladesh

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Abstract

This paper explains why and how deep tube well as a safe drinking water technology has become dominant in mitigating the arsenic crisis in rural Bangladesh. We do so by applying insights from the Multi-Level Perspective on transitions in explaining changes in the safe socio-technical drinking water regime in rural Bangladesh. Data about seven dimensions of regime change were gathered from key actors through in-depth interviews, focus groups sessions, a survey, and a workshop. The findings reveal that with the introduction of deep tube well as an arsenic mitigation technology, the observed changes in the seven dimensions help to transform the existing safe drinking water regime in order to re-stabilise it. Technological attributes, symbolic meaning, industry structures, and techno-scientific knowledge have supported an evolving dominance of the deep tube well. Besides, user practices as well as related infrastructures have adapted to the use of deep tube wells, and new policies stimulated its application. We argue that the dimensions of the technology change in the existing regime are consistent with the features of incremental innovation. By offering such insights, we show the relevance of the Multi-Level Perspective on transitions to analyse socio-technical innovation in a developing world context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-273
JournalAsian Journal of Technology Innovation
Volume24
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • arsenic mitigation
  • Bangladesh
  • deep tube well technology
  • drinking water
  • Multi-level Perspective on transitions

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