The Open UniversitySkip to content

Reflexive assessment of practical and holistic sanitation development tools using the rural and peri-urban case of Mexico

Tiberghien, J. E.; Robbins, P. T. and Tyrrel, S. F. (2011). Reflexive assessment of practical and holistic sanitation development tools using the rural and peri-urban case of Mexico. Journal of Environmental Management, 92(3) pp. 457–471.

Full text available as:
Full text not publicly available
Due to copyright restrictions, this file is not available for public download
Click here to request a copy from the OU Author.
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


Lack of sanitation affects the lives of billions of people worldwide. It is now generally agreed that sustainable solutions to this complex problem require social and cultural factors to be addressed in addition to the habitual economic and technical aspects. Increasingly, sector professionals view the fragmented approaches to sanitation as a limiting factor. This refers to the fragmentation of the knowledge on the subject among often hermetic disciplines and to the distribution of political mandates on sanitation across many institutions, which independently tackle specific aspects of the issue. Holistic approaches have often been suggested as a solution. This paper presents the development of such a holistic approach, designed to assess sanitation development in rural and peri-urban settings. Tested in three Mexican communities, it relies on qualitative research tools to identify critical influences to sanitation development. This article presents generic results about micro and macro-factors affecting sanitation development in Mexican villages, and reflexively examines the research process as well as the strengths and limitations of the approach. The conceptual map developed for each case study successfully highlights the interconnectedness of all factors affecting sanitation development. Despite some weaknesses, these maps constitute a practical assessment tool for interdisciplinary teams deployed in integrated water and sanitation development programs and a valuable didactic tool for training activities.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2010 Elsevier Ltd.
ISSN: 0301-4797
Keywords: sanitation; holistic; reflexivity; concept map; participatory planning; Latin America; Mexico
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Politics, Philosophy, Economics, Development, Geography
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Research Group: Innovation, Knowledge & Development research centre (IKD)
Item ID: 28467
Depositing User: Peter Robbins
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2011 14:24
Last Modified: 05 Oct 2016 12:37
Share this page:


Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU