Corrupted, co-opted, or co-produced? Exploring the dynamics of linkages between the formal and informal water sectors | “The Next Wave of Water Governance” Diffused Conference Thematic Seminars

May 22, 2024, 16.00 - 17.00

"Corrupted, co-opted, or co-produced? Exploring the dynamics of linkages between the formal and informal water sectors" by Gina Gilson (NEWAVE ESR12)

In the world’s lower income regions, piped water systems have failed to keep pace with growing urban populations. A wide variety of informal water vendors are playing an important role in filling these gaps. Amidst lags in progress towards goals of universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all, there has been growing interest in the role for these vendors and how to improve their performance. New water governance configurations that bridge between formal and informal providers are at the heart of this issue. I will explore the multifaceted ways in which informal water vending might contribute to equitable water governance.

About the speaker

Gina Gilson is currently a Research Scientist in Environmental Policy Programs at the University of Arizona's Udall Center. Her interests are broadly related to water governance and the intersection between formal institutions (i.e. legal frameworks and policies) and informal institutions (i.e. social norms and trust). In her research, Gina has used qualitative methods to examine market-based strategies in Kenya and the Western US, with special attention to collaborative processes and power dynamics. 

Discussant & Moderator

Cersey Ochieng Onyango holds a Master's degree in Environmental Science from Egerton University in Kenya. Currently, he serves as a part-time Lab Technician at Egerton University and works as a Consultant at COHESU Kenya. With expertise in environmental studies and a strong background in field research, Cersey has taken on roles such as Field Assistant and Field Research Manager. His research interests are in environmental conservation with a focus on water quality and water governance. 

Dustin Garrick is University Research Chair in Water and Development Policy based at the School of Environment, Resources, and Sustainability, and a member of the Water Institute, at the University of Waterloo. He is also research fellow at the University of Oxford, where has been teaching since 2011. Prof. Garrick directs Blue Range Labs which addresses water in the context of global development challenges across a network of observatories and partnerships. His current work focuses across three themes: the new geography of water conflict and cooperation, valuing water for sustainable development, and adaptation pathways to increase water and food security. He is member of the technical committee for the Global Water Partnership and advisor to community groups, the World Bank and UN on water issues. He teaches courses on the Economics of Sustainability and contributes to the Collaborative Water Program where he is passionate about supporting the next generation of water leaders. In his spare time, he likes to spend time with his family and rides his bike to explore rivers and their cultural and natural heritage. In 2022, he co-founded a citizen science initiative and social enterprise called Water Cycles Expeditions to reconnect people and water through cycling and to use cycling to generate new data and insight about how communities value and share water in a changing world.

This seminar is part of the “The Next Wave of Water Governance” Diffused Conference Thematic Seminar series. The series includes bi-weekly seminars on the key topics of water governance investigated by the NEWAVE Early Stage Researchers. You can register for learn more and see the full schedule of the upcoming sessions at this link.