Nearly 60 percent of sub-Saharan Africa’s urban population lives in informal settlements and slums where access to safe and affordable drinking water is woefully inadequate and threatens health and wellbeing. However, public (state-based), private (market-based), and informal institutional arrangements have failed to improve safe water access for the urban poor, prompting interest in community-based water governance (CWG). In this talk, Prof. Adams will draw from Malawi’s experimentation with community-public partnerships (CPPs), a form of citizen-state coproduction, to discuss the opportunities and limits of CWG for improving water security for Africa’s urban poor and advancing progress towards SDG 6.
About the Speaker
Ellis Adjei Adams is an assistant professor of geography and environmental policy in the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame. He is affiliated with Notre Dame’s Environmental Change Initiative and the Eck Institute for Global Health. Prof. Adams’ work examines the social, political, institutional, and governance dimensions of environmental and natural resources, particularly water. Trained as a human environmental geographer with expertise bridging the natural and social sciences, he is broadly interested in nature-society relations. His research to date has primarily focused on understanding human-water interactions in different urban contexts in the Global South.