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The emancipatory promise of participatory water governance for the urban poor : Reflections on the transition management approach in the cities of Dodowa, Ghana and Arusha, Tanzania

Nastar, Maryam LU ; Abbas, Shabana; Aponte Rivero, Carlos; Jenkins, Shona and Kooy, Michelle (2018) In African Studies 77(4). p.504-525
Abstract

There has been widespread recognition in the Global South of the role of participatory governance approaches to urban development in responding to citizens’ immediate concerns. However, critiques note that participatory initiatives are often avenues for the political and economic elite to ensure their interests and profits, rather than improving the livelihoods in non- serviced urban peripheries. This article investigates how transition management (TM), as a promising participatory governance framework, can be implemented effectively to improve access to water for disadvantaged groups. First, we highlight lessons learnt from the TM applications in urban and water sectors. Second, we draw on empirical data from low-income urban areas in... (More)

There has been widespread recognition in the Global South of the role of participatory governance approaches to urban development in responding to citizens’ immediate concerns. However, critiques note that participatory initiatives are often avenues for the political and economic elite to ensure their interests and profits, rather than improving the livelihoods in non- serviced urban peripheries. This article investigates how transition management (TM), as a promising participatory governance framework, can be implemented effectively to improve access to water for disadvantaged groups. First, we highlight lessons learnt from the TM applications in urban and water sectors. Second, we draw on empirical data from low-income urban areas in Ghana and Tanzania to bring the importance of social relations to the fore. By employing open-ended interviews, following the water points and conducting narrative walks, we identify three precautions that need to be addressed through adaptations of the TM approach in order to achieve the emancipatory promises of participatory governance models. In suggesting some guidelines for facilitators and active groups in participatory arenas, we discuss the importance of power dynamics in the communities, potentials and shortcoming of reflexive governance processes, and the need for capacity-building in transition teams.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
community dynamics, social relations, sub-Saharan Africa, transition management, urban water governance
in
African Studies
volume
77
issue
4
pages
504 - 525
publisher
African Studies Association
external identifiers
  • scopus:85045745801
ISSN
0002-0184
DOI
10.1080/00020184.2018.1459287
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
7eca995e-98ef-4649-ba6c-256c6acbb9b1
date added to LUP
2018-05-23 08:46:41
date last changed
2019-01-14 16:12:03
@article{7eca995e-98ef-4649-ba6c-256c6acbb9b1,
  abstract     = {<p>There has been widespread recognition in the Global South of the role of participatory governance approaches to urban development in responding to citizens’ immediate concerns. However, critiques note that participatory initiatives are often avenues for the political and economic elite to ensure their interests and profits, rather than improving the livelihoods in non- serviced urban peripheries. This article investigates how transition management (TM), as a promising participatory governance framework, can be implemented effectively to improve access to water for disadvantaged groups. First, we highlight lessons learnt from the TM applications in urban and water sectors. Second, we draw on empirical data from low-income urban areas in Ghana and Tanzania to bring the importance of social relations to the fore. By employing open-ended interviews, following the water points and conducting narrative walks, we identify three precautions that need to be addressed through adaptations of the TM approach in order to achieve the emancipatory promises of participatory governance models. In suggesting some guidelines for facilitators and active groups in participatory arenas, we discuss the importance of power dynamics in the communities, potentials and shortcoming of reflexive governance processes, and the need for capacity-building in transition teams.</p>},
  author       = {Nastar, Maryam and Abbas, Shabana and Aponte Rivero, Carlos and Jenkins, Shona and Kooy, Michelle},
  issn         = {0002-0184},
  keyword      = {community dynamics,social relations,sub-Saharan Africa,transition management,urban water governance},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {04},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {504--525},
  publisher    = {African Studies Association},
  series       = {African Studies},
  title        = {The emancipatory promise of participatory water governance for the urban poor : Reflections on the transition management approach in the cities of Dodowa, Ghana and Arusha, Tanzania},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00020184.2018.1459287},
  volume       = {77},
  year         = {2018},
}