Project Partners

Members of the Consortium

 University of Oxford (UoX), School of Geography and the Environment (United Kingdom)
 PROJECT CO-ORDINATOR

 Tampere University of Technology (TUT), Institute of Environmental Engineering and Biotechnology (IEEB) (Finland)

 University of the Aegean (UoA), Environmental Planning Laboratory, Department of Environmental Studies (Greece)

 Fundación Diálogo Comunidades y Medio Ambiente (FDCMA), La Paz, (Bolivia)

 University of Buenos Aires (UBA), Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Social Research (FCS-IIGG) (Argentina)

 Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO) (Argentina)

 Federal University of Sao Carlos (UFSCar) Department of Social Sciences (DCSo) (Brazil)

 Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO) (Mexico)

 University of Lisbon (UoL), Institute of Social Sciences (Portugal)

 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, National University of Misiones (UNAM) (Argentina)

 Institute of the Conurbated Metropolitan Area, National University of General Sarmiento (ICO-UNGS) (Argentina)

 Universidad Mayor de San Simón (UMSS), Centro de Estudios Superiores Universitarios (CESU), Cochabamba (Bolivia)

 University of Newcastle, Department of Geography (UoNew-Geo) (United Kingdom)




School of Geography and the Environment (SoGE), University of Oxford

The water team at the School has undertaken major interdisciplinary research on the political ecology and sociology of water resources in urban and regional contexts. Previous work includes, among others, research on the urbanization of water in Ecuador, the political ecology of water and drought in Spain, and water struggles and citizenship in Mexico. Water related research has been also carried out in Cameroon, Greece, Portugal, and the United Kingdom.

Recent relevant research projects where the principal researchers in this project have participated include:

‘Achieving Sustainable and Innovative Policies through Participatory Governance in a Multi-Level Context’, Framework V – Programme Project, European Commission (2000-02).

‘Environmental Conflicts in Portugal’, Environment and Climate Programme, Framework IV - Programme Project, European Commission (1999-2000)

‘Metropolitan Cities and Sustainable Use of Water’ (METRON), Environment and Climate Programme Framework IV - Program Project, DCXII, European Commission (1998-00). The local project focused on the case of London, and formed part of a comparative study of water management practices, policies and institutions in urban areas including the cases of Athens, Amsterdam, Seville and Tel Aviv.

‘Urban Re-Development and Social Polarization in the City’ (URSPIC), Social Science Programme, Framework IV - Programme project, DCXII, European Commission (1998-00).

‘The Political Ecology of Water in Advanced Societies’, European Science Foundation Project on Sustainability, Risk and Nature, (1998-99).

‘Water, Power and Citizenship in Contemporary Mexico. Contemporary Social Struggles in the Valley of Mexico: a long-term perspective’ (1993-1998). A historic-sociological comparative study of the interrelations between hydraulic policies and citizenship rights, highlighting the interplay between environmental and socio-political change.

The team at SoGE also benefits from the expertise available in other Oxford departments. Concerning water research, the university houses the Environmental Change Institute, and the Oxford Centre for Water Research. With relation to development studies, the team has strong links with the International Development Centre (Queen Elizabeth House), the Latin American Centre, the Oxford Centre for Brazilian Studies, and the Centre for the Study of the African Economies.

Principal researchers involved in the project:

Dr José Esteban Castro, Senior Research Associate (PRINWASS coordinator)

Dr Erik Swyngedouw, University Reader in Geography.



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Institute of Environmental Engineering and Biotechnology (IEEB), Tampere University of Technology (TUT), Finland

The Institute of Environmental Engineering and Biotechnology at Tampere University of Technology offers multidiscipline education from traditional civil and environmental engineering to biotechnology.  Since the late 1970s the Institute has undertaken cooperation activities with African countries in the fields of education and research. More than 100 engineers from Africa have received their MSc education at the Institute, in addition to five doctoral degrees. Since 1984, the research programme ‘Capacity Development in Water Services (CADWAS), Development of Sustainable Economic Infrastructure’, the Institute has carried out further research on water sector institutions and organizations, while also fostering international cooperation in the field. The research has concentrated on tackling the key factors of capacity building: (i) creating an enabling environment with an appropriate policy and legal framework, (ii) institutional development, including community participation, and (iii) human resources development and strengthening of managerial systems. Since the 1970s, these activities have been implemented in cooperation with African universities and, since the 1990s, the cooperation has been extended to include Baltic universities and research institutes.

Current research themes of the CADWAS team include:

Water sector management

Water utility management

Public-private partnerships

Customer oriented water services

Long-term evolution of water and solid waste services

Principal researchers involved in the project:

Dr Tapio S. Katko, Senior Research Fellow (IEEB)

MSc Osmo Seppälä, Senior Researcher (IEEB)

MSc Pekka Pietilä, Senior Researcher (IEEB)

Dr Jarmo Hukka, Senior Researcher (IEEB)

Visiting Senior Researchers:

From: University of Nairobi, Kenya - Dr Ezekiel Nyangeri Nyanchaga

From: University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania - Prof. Damas Alfred Mashauri



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Environmental Planning Laboratory, University of the Aegean (UoA)

The Environmental Planning Laboratory is part of the Department of Environmental Studies of the University of the Aegean in Greece. It undertakes multidisciplinary research in environmental planning contributing to the advancement of knowledge and methodology in integrated spatial environmental policy and planning. The activities of the Laboratory extend also in international and national consulting in environmental planning, integrated water resource management, integrated coastal zone management, island planning, urban and regional policy, etc. The Laboratory has participated in many Greek and European research programs and has provided assistance through demonstration or consultancy work to many regions in Greece, Europe, and also in Mediterranean and developing countries.

Principal researchers involved in the project:

Prof. Harry Coccosis

Mr Giorgos Kallis



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Fundación Diálogo Comunidades y Medio Ambiente (FDCMA), La Paz, (Bolivia)

Fundación Diálogo (Comunidades y Medio Ambiente) is a private not-for-profit foundation founded in 1997 and dedicated to research and development work on indigenous affairs, natural resources and the environment in Bolivia. The foundation focuses both on highland and lowland indigenous development and currently conducts research on indigenous law, land tenure, decentralization and natural resource management. The staff is comprised by professionals, academics and policymakers from the social and natural sciences. The foundation works with a number of research networks around the region, including the IDB’s Research Network, LACEA’s Network for Inequality and Poverty (NIP) and the Global Development Network (GDN). Fundación Diálogo is based in La Paz, Bolivia.

Director of the Foundation: Ramiro Molina Rivero
Address: Avenida Gobles # 6389, Irpavi, La Paz, Bolivia

Telephone/Fax: 591-22-722140

Principal researchers involved in this project:

Dr George Gray Molina



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Institute of Social Research ‘Gino Germani’ (IIGG), Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Buenos Aires (UBA-FCS), Argentina

The Research Institute Gino Germani (IIGG) at the Faculty of Social Sciences (FCS), University of Buenos Aires, is one of the largest social science research centres in the country. It was created on the basis of the well-established Institute of Sociology, originally launched in 1940, which became an international research centre thanks to the contribution of the Italian sociologist Gino Germani. Today, it houses academics from the five sub-faculties of the FCS, Sociology, Political Science, Communication, Labour Relations, and Social Work, and also a number of senior researchers from the National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET). Work is organized in thematic areas and is carried out by interdisciplinary research teams with expertise in health, population, culture, politics, rural studies, urban studies, state reform, conflict and social change, labor and employment, gender issues, social stratification, public opinion, science and society, technological change, education, historical sociology, youth, epistemology and philosophy of social action. Among the Institute’s research teams with expertise relevant for this project is worth mentioning the following: Population, Health and Society, Conflict and Social Change, Urban Studies, Public Sector and State Reform, Science, Technology and Society.

A facet of the Institute’s activities which is highly relevant for this research project is that it has developed a co-operative working framework with a number of NGOs, government departments, municipalities, research centers, universities, and international organizations, some of which are also partners in this research, such as FLACSO and UNICEF Argentina. Also, the IIGG has established a formal partnership, for the purpose of this research project, with the Tripartite Organism for Sanitary Works and Services (ETOSS), which was created to oversee the provision of WSS in Buenos Aires since its privatization (1993). In addition to this, the IIGG has already established research links with several user and community organizations which have been recently involved in mobilizations and negotiations around the provision of water and sanitation in Buenos Aires. This will favor the access to information, ensure the participation of stakeholders in the process, and provide an excellent vehicle for the dissemination of research results. Among other organizations to be involved are:

ADELCO TTe Gral Peron 1558 7th, adelco@wamani.apc.org

ADECUA Callao 157 9 C, Tel 4374-5420, sandragadecua@hotmail.com

PROCONSUMER Viamonte 885 2nd, Tel. 4394-0597, proconsumer@proconsumer.org.ar

Union de Usuarios y Consumidores, Parana 326 9th, Tel. 4371-8050, launion@usuarios.org.ar

Consumidores Activos, Echeverria 1845 Tel. 4783-3241, Consumidores@ciudad.com.ar

Consumidores Argentinos, Sarmiento 2026 4th Tel. 4951-8427, consumidoresarg@consumidoresarg.com.ar

Consumidores Libres, Bme. Mitre 1895 3rd E Tel. 4373-1109, consumidores_libres@hotmail.com

Cruzada Civica, Av Cordoba 2011 1st Tel. 4963-1655, capital@cruzadacivica.org.ar

Principal researchers involved in the project:

Prof. Juan Carlos Marín Menchaca

Mr. Emilio Ariel Crenzel

Mr. Gustavo Forte



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Area of Economy and Technology, Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO), Argentina

The Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO) is an international institution, regional and autonomous, created with the mandate to promote critical teaching and research in the social sciences focusing on the development and integration of Latin American countries. FLACSO was created in 1957 during the Latin American Conference on Social Sciences held in Rio de Janeiro with the support of UNESCO and the participation of the Member States. The original office was created in Santiago de Chile, but the 1973 military cup interrupted the activities, especially the postgraduate courses in Sociology and Political Science attended by students and professors from all over Latin America. This situation prompted the decentralization of the institution in 1974 with the purpose of ensuring its permanence as an international body, which resulted in the creation of several academic units in different countries of the region. Today, FLACSO has units in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, and Dominican Republic. The General Secretary is located in San Jose de Costa Rica.

Among the key objectives of the institution which are relevant for this project are:

·     Ensuring the training of specialists in Social Sciences in Latin America through postgraduate courses of specialization;

·     Diffusing knowledge produced by the social sciences, and particularly research findings, through all available means with the support of governments and other organizations in a cooperative fashion;

·     Providing scientific advice to governments, research institutions and teaching centers in the region;

·     Collaborating with national universities and similar institutions in developing teaching and research programmes to promote cooperation, especially between international regional and national organizations, both governmental and non-governmental.

 FLACSO maintains an intensive collaborative activity with national, regional and international institutions through its teaching, research, consultancy and advisory activities.

Area of Economy and Technology

Research in this area started in 1980 and has been mainly concentrated the political economy of technology, development, key economic players, industrial structure, and public policy in the Argentinean economy. During the the 1990s new lines of inquiry were developed, especially one on regulation, privatization and public services and another one on the agricultural sector. One of the most important projects in the area is ‘Privatisation and regulation in the Argentinean economy’, directed by Daniel Azpiazu with funding from the Secretary of Science and Technology (SECYT), National Council for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICET), and Interamerican Development Bank (IDB). 

Principal researchers involved in the project:

Dr Daniel Azpiazu

Lic. Karina Forcinito


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Department of Social Sciences (DCSo), Federal University of Sao Carlos (UFSCar), Brazil

The Department of Social Sciences at Sao Carlos offers graduate and postgraduate courses in Sociology, Political Science and Anthropology. It has a permanent teaching and research staff composed by 16 lecturers and 5 assistant lecturers, 85% of who have achieved doctoral degrees in recognized institutions. The expertise in the department covers Sociology, Political Science, Anthropology, Economy and History. The Department also publishes the journal Teoria & Pesquisa, which offers an excellent vehicle for the diffusion of research work.

 The department has four main research areas, all of which are relevant for this proposal: a) Symbolic Production and Culture, b) Social Organization, c) Technology, Development and Environment, and d) Institutions and Political Behavior. Within this context, the area of Technology, Development and Environment houses a significant number of projects oriented at regional and environmental studies. Among other individual projects, it is worth mentioning the "Evaluation of the Socio-environmental impact of Hydraulic Projects", and "Social perception of water problems related to quality, quantity and cost in two river basins of the state of Sao Paulo: a domestic users’ opinion survey". The department is the co-coordinator of this interdisciplinary project.

 Through these activities, the department has established an excellent working relationship with relevant government departments and other agencies, which will provide excellent partnerships for the current proposal, especially regarding access to information about WSS and WSM. In particular, we have the commitment of the Water and Sanitation National Information System, the Water and Sanitation National Associations of state-owned enterprises (AESBE), the Association of Municipal Services (ASSEMAE) and the Association of Private Companies (ABCON).

Principal researchers involved in this project:

Dr Marcelo Coutinho Vargas

Dr Ricardo Toledo Silva (Visiting Scholar based at the Unit for Research of Urban Information, Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism, University of São Paulo (USP)

Alessandro Leme

Roberval Francisco de Lima




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Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO) – Mexico

See general description of the institution in 6.

In the context of increasing globalization, FLACSO Mexico promotes interdisciplinary approaches in the social sciences based on the creation of international research networks and thematic research areas. There is an ongoing feedback between research and teaching activities at FLACSO.

The institution offers four different courses:

MA in Population Studies

MA in Social Sciences

MA in Government

PhD in Political Science

Among the main thematic areas currently covered by research projects are:

‘Socio-demographic, economic and institutional characteristics of the Mexican Pacific Coast in the context of global change’

‘Citizenship, multiculturalism and democracy’

‘Employment, social policy and development’

‘Urban space, local government, culture and communication in Latin America’

‘The political reform of the Mexican state’

‘Water and society’

Dr María Luisa Torregrossa Armentia, currently co-coordinator of the MA programme in Social Sciences, has headed the research programme on ‘Water and society’ since 1988. The activities of the programme have included the training of students, collaborative interdisciplinary research, and consultancy work for the Mexican Water authorities (National Water Commission [CNA], Mexican Institute for Water Technology IMTA]) and international organizations (FAO – Mexico, World Bank).

Principal researchers involved in the project:

Dr María Luisa Torregrossa Armentia 

Dr Fernando Saavedra Peláez



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Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon, Portugal

The Institute of Social Sciences (ICS) was created in 1982 and has faculty status. The ICS is heir to the pioneering work carried out by the Sociological Research Unit since the 1960s under the leadership of Prof. Adérito Sedas Nunes. The ICS houses the prestigious journal Análise Social, which has played a central role in the evolution of Portuguese Social science ever since its foundation in 1963.

The ICS aims at the promotion of research and post-graduate teaching. It has currently 36 research fellows and 36 external collaborators. The research work is organized in 12 integrated research programmes and 56 unitary research projects. The Postgraduate Studies Teaching Programme offers a two-year M.A. and a Ph.D in Social sciences. The M.A. was launched in 1992 and provides different thematic specializations. The Ph.D offers mentions in Social and Cultural Anthropology, General Sociology, Political Sociology and Historical Sociology.

Principal researchers involved in this project:

José Luis Garcia



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Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, National University of Misiones (UNAM), Argentina

The Postgraduate Programme in Social Anthropology at UNAM, created in 1995, is the most important academic institution dedicated to social science training and research in North-eastern Argentina. It offers both a Master and a PhD programme, and it attracts not only national students but also candidates from other South American countries including Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil, and Colombia.

Among other projects carried out by the research team at UNAM are:

·     Regional economy and public policy in the context of MERCOSUR.

·     Networks and Rivers. The organizations of environmental NGO networks and their policies for the development and conservation of hydraulic resources in the River Plate basin.

·     Development styles and impact of large infrastructure projects in Misiones (Argentina): the ecological anthropology of Yacyretá and the "Green Corridor" 2001-2003

·     Local government and citizen participation

·     Public policy and social change. Transformations in hydraulic resources management in the Argentinean Northeast: the impact of the privatization of urban water and sanitation services.

Principal researchers involved in this project:

Dr Jorge Próspero Roze


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Institute of the Conurbated Metropolitan Area, National University of General Sarmiento (ICO-UNGS), Argentina

The Instituto del Conurbano is one of the interdisciplinary academic units in the university, and is dedicated to research, teaching and assistance to the community. The Institute has a permanent staff of around 30 professionals organized in multidisciplinary teams covering Urbanism, Architecture, Ecology, Anthropology, Sociology, Economy, and Public Administration. Most members of the academic staff have a well-established reputation and a long-standing experience in management and consultancy at the national and international levels.

The university promotes a model of research-action in order to make available the academic expertise to the wider community. This approach is fully endorsed by the Institute, which despite its short life is already well-known by its academic and professional excellence.

The academic work at ICO is organized in the following research areas:

• Conditions, livelihoods and social policies in the city

• Institutions and processes of local government

• Urban economic systems

• Urban ecology

• Processes and agents of urban development

Within this framework, the team associated with PRINWASS is developing research focusing on the practices of local urban management vis a vis the privatization of the metropolitan public services.

Principal researchers involved in this project:

Andrea Catenazzi


Gustavo Kohan


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Universidad Mayor de San Simón (UMSS), Centro de Estudios Superiores Universitarios (CESU), Cochabamba, Bolivia.

The Universidad Mayor de San Simón (UMSS) was founded in 1832 and is the second largest of Bolivia. It is located in Cochabamba, the capital city of the central province which bears the same name and which is economically one of the three most important provinces of Bolivia. The UMSS is one of the ten public universities of Bolivia which together make up the 'Sistema Nacional Universitario' (SUN). Academically, the UMSS is organized in nine faculties and two Higher Technical Institutes which together offer about 65 study programmes at the level of 'licenciatura' and 11 at the Superior Technical level. There is also a Polytechnic Institute, which trains students as mid-level technicians. The UMSS has also 12 postgraduate courses, 9 of which are in health sciences, 2 in social sciences and 1 in education. The student population at the UMSS totals about 40,000, attended by 1125 lecturers (of which 221 have a master's or doctorate degree) and some 950 administrative workers.

The Centro de Estudios Superiores Universitarios (CESU ) is a multidisciplinary postgraduate institution with expertise in Economics, Social and Political Sciences and Humanities. CESU has close links with NGOs, government institutions, and internacional universities, and its main objective is the organization of academic and technical training programmes (Specialisation, Master and Doctorate levels) and research.

The UMSS has also a Water Resources Centre, created in 1985 jointly with the Catholic University of Louvaine, Belgium, a Laboratory for Water and Environmental Sanitation, a Centre for Limnology and Aquatic Resources, a Centre for Biodiversity, a Centre for Environment and Renewable Resources.

Principal researchers involved in this project:

Dr Carmen Ledo




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University of Newcastle, Department of Geography (UoNew-Geo),

United Kingdom.

Principal researchers involved in this project:

Dr Nina Laurie

Mr Carlos Crespo Flores



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