In previous articles we expressed the view that the arsenic problem in Bangla- desh is not primarily a technological problem (Rammelt & Boes 2004, 2006). The main issue seems to be that the appropriate organisational structure needed to successfully implement any of the existing options is almost non-existent in rural areas. Based on this observation a pro- gramme has been initiated with the objective to build the needed institutions at a village level with support from research organisations and local NGOs as important participants in the im- plementation process. A description of the first year plan will be presented. It is based on the recognition that there is an inevitable tension between the need to solve the immediate problem mostly with technical interventions and the sustainability of the newly established water supply institutions on the longer term. The plan therefore aims to streamline the involved technical and social processes, which both have inherently different time-constants. It includes a local implementation process, a process directed towards regional policies for extending the pilot projects, and communication of the results at different levels. We will present findings from the initial phase of the programme. The results are assessed in relation to the original and future expectations starting with those of the local communities in- volved. Initial conclusions are drawn regarding the value of approach itself and about how it has been shaped in practice by a learning-by-doing manner.
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