Working Paper

STEPS Working Paper No.29

Going with the Flow? Directions of Innovation in the Water and Sanitation Domain

Published on 1 January 2009

Water and sanitation issues are looming large on the international agenda, not least due to the impetus created by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to halve, by 2015, the proportion of the world’s population who do not have access to clean water and adequate sanitation. Water resources for productive uses have also received increased focus given the recent food crisis, and is further accentuated by the impacts of climate change (altering precipitation patterns, the frequency of floods and droughts, etc). Increasing incertitude and complexity are the norm, rather than the exception, and finding ways to secure people’s access to water resources for consumptive and productive use, as well as adequate sanitation, needs to draw on innovative ideas in terms of technological solutions and institutional frameworks. This paper sets out to explore some of the present narratives dominating the field of water and sanitation, highlighting current challenges and teasing out how three key concepts – directionality, diversity and distribution – can act as guiding principles for further innovations and future developments.

Cite this publication

Movik, S. and Mehta, L. (2009) Going with the Flow? Directions of Innovation in the Water and Sanitation Domain, STEPS Working Paper 29, Brighton: STEPS Centre


Lyla Mehta

Professorial Fellow

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published by
STEPS Centre
Movik, S. and Mehta, L.
STEPS Working Paper, issue 29


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