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Mamta Gautam

National Institute of Design Haryana

This case study brings to the fore designer‘s experience and challenges of intervening in a complex social system. The presentation refers to the “Need Assessment Study of Occupational and Health Hazards Faced by Desludging Workers in a City in India.” This study marked the first milestone towards understanding the safety concerns of sanitation workers in the larger context of safe sanitation practices in small and medium towns in India, where faecal sludge management is emerging as a viable way forward under the larger system of faecal sludge management. This paper focuses on the research methodology and processes used in the study in order to better understand how these might be replicated or used in other similar contexts. In particular, the presentation shall discuss the interrelationships at length to understand the dynamic, multicausal, and unpredictable nature of the complex social system as found during the study. Conducted in two Indian cities, the de-sludging operators offer cleaning services to households, establishments, and industries. (Mamta Gautam et al,19).

This presentation discusses the research design, its implementation, and findings leading to systemic design. This is being discussed from the perspective of the author as the lead design researcher for the project commissioned by IIHS.

KEYWORDS: problem system, sanitation, complex adaptive system, participatory research methods, behaviour change




Citation Data

Author(s): Mamta Gautam
Year: 2022
Title: From a Problem to the Problem System
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD11
Article No.: 122
Host: University of Brighton
Location: Brighton, UK
Symposium Dates: October 3–16, 2022
First published: 22 September 2022
Last update: 30 April 2023
Publisher Identification: ISSN 2371-8404
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