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close this bookWater and Sanitation Technologies: A Trainer's Manual (Peace Corps, 1985)
close this folderSessions
close this folderSession 11 - Community water supply case study
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentAttachment 11A: Ecoli case study



2 Hours and 30 Minutes


* Identify criteria necessary for development of a community water supply system in terms of quality, quantity, and convenience


Attachment 11-A: "Ecoli Case Study"


Newsprint and felt-tip pens

Ecoli village map drawn on flip chart

Copies of Attachment for all trainees


One or two trainers

Trainer Introduction

This session is a way of introducing the trainees to community development work in the area of water and sanitation. It provides some technical information, but its emphasis is on community involvement in the selection of appropriate projects. Before the session is scheduled, read the case study carefully. Copies of the case study, divided into its three parts, should be prepared in advance for all trainees.


Step 1

5 minutes

Present the session objective and outline the activities.

Step 2

15 minutes

Hand out Part I of the Case Study and allow trainees time to read through it.

Step 3

15 minutes

Review the flow chart and Part I. Highlight important points.

Step 4

30 minutes

Hand out Part II; each trainee should complete the exercise by him/herself.

Trainer Note

Before the trainees begin the exercise, go over the flip chart map of Ecoli with the entire group. Then, each trainee should work through the exercise individually in order to get them all thinking about the various options for the community.

Step 5

20 minutes

Break the trainees into four groups, assign one group to each water site, and have each group evaluate their site only.

Trainer Note

Each group should reach a consensus of opinion regarding the pros and cons of their site. The process of reaching a consensus among the group is as important as the actual conclusions reached.

Step 6

30 minutes

Each group reports back, and their conclusions are listed on a flip chart. The group as a whole discusses the various sites.

Step 7

15 minutes

Hand out Part III and allow time to read. Then, as a group, highlight the important points.

Trainer Note

It is not necessary that a specific option be agreed upon and the others discarded. Each site should be discussed as to their strengths and weaknesses, and the best option or options singled out.

Step 8

20 minutes

Review and discuss the case study exercise as a large group.

Trainer Note

Write the following questions, or similar ones, on a flip chart and discuss the answers:

1. Was the decision on site selection easier to reach individually or as a group?

2. Does our solution address the criteria necessary for adequate quality, quantity, and convenience of the water source?

3. As a Volunteer, what did Rod need to know?

- technical information?
- community's felt and real needs?
- community resources?
- traditions and customs?

4. As a Volunteer, what did Rod need to do?

- survey the community?
- discuss and plan with community leaders?
- interact with people?
- implement and maintain the project?

Trainer Note

The case study illustrates that community involvement, starting with the decision making process, is vital for the success of any project. It also points out that technical knowledge is only part of what a volunteer needs in order to work successfully in community development. These points should be emphasized.