Gopeshwar was struggling with the issue of cleanliness and subsequent lost tourist revenue, so Participatory Research In Asia (PRIA) was invited by the Indian municipality to prepare the participatory Detailed Project Report on Solid Waste Management.
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Problems and Purpose
IThe project town, Gopeshwar is a beautiful town situated in the cradle of Himalaya in Uttrakhand state of India, housing about 20,000 people. Being a tourist place, cleanliness was a major issue that needed immediate response. With this recognition, Participatory Research In Asia (PRIA) was invited by the municipality to prepare the participatory Detailed Project Report (DPR) on Solid Waste Management (SWM). The objective of the project was to create a model of participatory DPR preparation process.
Background History and Context
Gopeshwar was struggling with the issue of cleanliness and viewed as loss of revenue from tourism. Various independent efforts were made but could not work in absence of public support. Initially people hesitated to participate in absence of any history of participation sought by the local government, but gradullay involvement of people picked up.
Organizing, Supporting, and Funding Entities
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Participant Recruitment and Selection
In order to draft the report, organizers sought to mobilize citizens and various volunteers also emerged to carry out the specified task to make it sustainable. Seperate meetings were held before inviting participants to a city level forum. During these meetings, elected representatives and municipal officials were introduced to the participatory methodology and its benefit while citizen were made aware of their democratic right to participate in the process.
Methods and Tools Used
The research program was structured around principle of public participation, involving a mix of methodologies including participatory reflection and action, participatory rural appraisal, collaborative planning, community-based participatory research, and community service learning. Individual consultation, group consultation and a series of town level workshops gave the momentum to the project. Media was also very active in spreading the word. The project was delivered in such a way that ownership by the public was induced.
Deliberation, Decisions, and Public Interaction
Joining hands with a local organization Himalayan Action Research Center (HARC), PRIA led the process of consultation in the city. Area wise feedback was taken from the people about the status and their readiness to cooperate for implementation. The quantum and type of waste generated was done through purposive household sampling where segregated waste was collected for a week and weighed. Such activity created inquisitiveness among citizens, as to why it’s being done which created an opportunity of informal way of awareness generation for project and segregation of waste practice.
Influence, Outcomes, and Effects
The draft plan was shared with municipal officials, elected representatives and citizens at large where role of each stakeholder was agreed. The DPR was finally approved by the state government for funding and became the model DPR for the state.The provided means and ways for managing the waste of the town effectively. On the other hand such participatory methodology of DPR formulation which is enriched with local knowledge and solution has been appreciated by the state government. Currently, state government of Uttrakhand presents it as a model DPR and recommends other agencies to follow this methodology.
Analysis and Lessons Learned
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PRIA Reports on Solid Waste Management https://www.pria.org/project-details-preparation-of-detailed-project-rep...
HARC Annual Report 06-07 http://18.104.22.168/cgi-bin/library?e=d-000-00---0pria_reports--00-0-... [dead link]
The original version of this case study first appeared on Vitalizing Democracy in 2010 and was a contestant for the 2011 Reinhard Mohn Prize. It was originally submitted by Khatibullah Sheikh.
Lead Image: Gopeshwar Solid Waste Management https://goo.gl/pK4et9
Secondary Image: SWM in Gopeshwar https://goo.gl/5GN2ex