CUVE Waters


Participation is an integral part of the CuveWaters research project. Various groups of actors participate in the decision-making process at the local, regional and national level: e.g. users, beneficiaries, practitioners, administration, and political bodies. To involve them, a demand-responsive approach was developed and employed throughout all phases of the project. Within it, local users in particular, but also stakeholders at other levels, participate in different ways: They offer input on the situation analysis, the design process, and on the establishment of management structures during the implementation process. This new method has been jointly developed with Namibian partners. 


Core elements of the demand-responsive approach are community workshops. At every im-plementation site, workshops are conducted in close co-operation with local partners like DRFN. In them, the community members as prospective users were involved in the decision-making process and contributed their knowledge of local and everyday practice. Local traditional authorities in particular have been involved from the very beginning, since they play an important role in each community.

In the workshops, acknowledged tools of participatory planning (PLA) methods were applied – to produce village maps, for example, and to discuss the options and impacts of the technologies. All steps were supported by architectural models and the visualisation of technologies. CuveWaters and the community members jointly chose suitable implementation sites. In addition, the communities and CuveWaters developed criteria to ensure transparency in selecting village inhabitants who operate rainwater harvesting facilities and gardens.

  • Planing sites with the community
  • Village mapping with the community
  • Community discussing the model of the communal washing house
  • Model of a rainwater harvesting facility
  • Meeting under the tree
  • Farmer field school meeting
  • Inauguration of the subsurface water storage facilities
  • Workshop on decision support systems