Studying NGO- Rapid Assessment Framework Toolkits for promoting SWM in Kohalpur, Nepal: Whose reality counts?
Martin Rojas, Alejandro
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Waste generation has significantly increased over the past few decades, leading to negative impacts on both humans and the environment. Developing countries struggle to effectively manage waste due to inadequate protection and collection services. To address this issue, international aid has started investing in waste management systems. However, initial efforts focused solely on technical assistance were proven to be ineffective as they lacked a full understanding of the factors affecting waste management. Nowadays, the focus has shifted to understanding what enables SWM interventions and analysing the enabling environment. To improve its waste management efforts, WASTE NL created the SQUAT tool, a rapid assessment framework toolkit to assess the enabling environment and increase the success of SWM interventions by focusing resources The purpose of this study is to examine both informal and formal factors that enable waste management interventions in Kohalpur, Nepal, which are the actors involved in this scenario and assess their representation in the SQUAT tool. The study is based on the Integrated Sustainable Waste Management theory, which identifies six enabling components. This research focuses on the institutional, policy, and socio-cultural aspects of these components. This study results reveal that in formal practices, a major factor enabling SWM interventions in Kohalpur, Nepal is the presence of an institutional body responsible for the SWM system and a national policy framework. In terms of socio-cultural factors, the enabling behaviour is influenced by various factors including the right to receive waste services, the perception of waste workers, and the social perception of generated waste. Most of the formal factors mentioned are captured by the tool, capturing partially the Kohalpur’s enabling environment. However, the informal practices were not considered by the tool. In Kohalpur, the citizens, due to a lack of waste collection services, must personally manage their waste through practices such as composting and burning. These practices are aided by the informal sector, which handles the plastic, glass, and cardboard generated. Both formal and informal waste management practices are greatly influenced by the behaviours and commitment of key actors such as the informal sector, the formal sector, the municipality, and households. These actors play a crucial role in shaping the enabling environment and can have a significant impact on it.