Random readings on society, politics and change – Jorge Carrillo
David Lewis: Any approach that emphasises continual problem-solving is important and worthwhile. But there may be a downside to all this innovation. Not all development problems require new solutions. For example, the basic technologies needed for improving water and sanitation in high-density urban areas – treated water piped directly into people’s homes, sewers to take away waste, and drains to cope with surface water – have changed little in a hundred years. Earlier moments of innovation around community-managed sewers that reduced unit costs, such as that by Pakistan NGO the Orangi Pilot Project Research and Training Institute, or the community-led design of public toilets, have effectively signposted the way forward. Today, it is funds and capacities that are needed if we are secure universal provision, not innovation.
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