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    Do's and don'ts for successful intercultural water management

    Issues to consider



    What works in one place doesn't necessarily work in another. - Take cultural and local differences into account. - Use one approach world-wide.
    Adopt local traditions and practices into sustainable solutions.  - Try to build on what has successfully worked in the past. - Consider traditional knowledge and practices as ‘backward’.
    Think global, act local. - Involve local people in the planning process.
    -Consider the broader context and consequences of new plans.
    - Ensure the well-being of the local community.
    - Forget that local issues need local input.
    - View your plan in isolation.
    - Forget to address the needs of local people.

    Ensure a match between people having to work together,

    and think beyond barriers.
    - Create a positive and co-operative working atmosphere.
    - Use cultural differences as an inspiration to create new sustainable solutions.
    - Create an atmosphere of conflict.
    - Let cultural differences become a source of conflict that hinder the process.
    Recognise cultural differences and local interests and factor them into your project. - Find out what cultural factors (power distance, social relationships, knowledge level, etc.) determine the success of the project. - Fail to ignore culturally-dependent enabling and counteracting forces.
    Create local support for new plans. - Involve local stakeholders in the decision-making process.
    - Visualise the situation to share conceptual understanding.
    - Value local people’s suggestions and use them if feasible.
    - Believe that public participation is the enemy of efficiency.
    - Think that you know best what is right for the people concerned.
    - Disregard suggestions of ‘lay people’.
    Understand and respect local cultural values and beliefs. - Appreciate the fact that cultural values and beliefs may differ from your own set of values and beliefs. - Impose your beliefs and values on others.
    - Assume you know what people think and want.
    Listen to concerns and respond appropriately. - Address the needs and concerns of local people seriously. - Ignore or overrule people’s needs and concerns
    Think ahead. - Before starting a technical project make sure that the legal, financial and personnel responsibilities for long-term operation and maintenance are clear and covered.
    - Be pro-active.
    - Trust that once realised, local people will use and maintain the system themselves.
    - Wait for problems to surface.
    Use local experts. - Involve local people in the work and create jobs for them. - Try to do everything with your ‘own work force’.
    Regular, open and honest communication prevents delays caused by opposition and legal procedures. - Say what you do and do what you say.
    - Make sure that your communication is line with the audience; use understandable language.
    - Make promises you can’t keep or fail to follow-up.
    - Fail to take language barriers into account.
    Evaluate the project on a regular basis. - Learn from your mistakes. - Forget to evaluate the process, thereby not allowing for mid-course corrections.