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Building “21st Century Sewer Socialism”: Sanitation and Venezuela’s Technical Water Committees

McMillan, Rebecca J. ;Université d'Ottawa / University of Ottawa; Université d'Ottawa / University of Ottawa

Université d'Ottawa / University of Ottawa 2013

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  • Title:
    Building “21st Century Sewer Socialism”: Sanitation and Venezuela’s Technical Water Committees
  • Author/Creator: McMillan, Rebecca J.
  • Université d'Ottawa / University of Ottawa; Université d'Ottawa / University of Ottawa
  • Publisher: Université d'Ottawa / University of Ottawa
  • Creation Date: 2013
  • Language: English
  • Subjects: Participatory Development ; Governance ; Water ; Sanitation ; Informal Settlements ; Urban ; Venezuela ; Latin America
  • Description: This thesis assesses the potential of Venezuela’s technical water committees (mesas técnicas de agua, MTAs) to address governance and logistical challenges for improving sanitation in the barrios (low income settlements) of Caracas. The MTAs are a radical experiment in urban planning whereby beneficiary communities map their own water and sanitation needs and help to plan infrastructure development, which is financed by the state. In addition to improving services, the MTAs aim to promote “popular” or “citizen power” as part of a broader political transformation, the Bolivarian Process (1999-present). Based on Hickey and Mohan’s (2005) four criteria for “transformative participation,” the paper argues that the MTAs have opened spaces for citizen empowerment and improved services in the barrios; however, participation at the local scale cannot resolve many of the challenges for improving sanitation such as institutional overlap and the financing gap, especially given that sanitation is the least profitable form of service provision in terms of economic and political payoffs....
  • Target Audience: en
  • Identifier: DOI: 10.20381/ruor-3306