The FreshWaterMill project is a transfer of Environmentally Sound Technology (EST) from The Netherlands to Colombia that involves several Dutch companies, the Delft University of Technology and Coralina (corporation for sustainable development of the Archipelago San Andrés, Providence and Saint Kathleen). The installation place is Johnny Cay, a small islet 1.5 km northeast from San Andrés, Colombia, uninhabited and exclusive for touristic use (Van Tonningen, 2014). The technology is a wind powered reverse osmosis (RO) system that can fulfil the drinkable water and electricity demands of the Cay. This way can be alleviated the sanitary conditions resulting from unsustainable touristic practices. Moreover, this project is seen as a promoter of sustainable development in the Archipelago (Coralina, 2006), and as a potential solution to provide electricity and water to rural and remote areas of low utility coverage but abundant wind power. There are no environmental or social impact analyses that validate the sustainable character of the technology transfer. Moreover, although it is intended to improve the livelihood of target users their opinions are not reflected in the project plans. This situation resembles those factors that describe the trend to failure of technology transfers. Therefore this research made an integral assessment of the project as a Socio-Technical System (STS) to provide useful findings and recommendations that could lead it away from such trend. The Functions of Innovation Systems (FIS) framework (Van Alphen, 2008) was chosen for a systems approach analysis. Through this was found that poor planning, insufficient financial resources and ineffective communication channels are the most relevant barriers for a successful implementation of the FreshWaterMill. The most relevant drivers are the suitability of the place for a wind/RO system, the planning of a local educational center, a remarkable advocacy for Renewable Energy Technologies (RETs) in the Archipelago and the existence of local human capital and R&D on RE. Five conditions for self-organization were derived from the PAR (Participatory Action Research) methodology to explore the likeliness of self-organization for bottom-up management. Through this methodology was shown that the difficult relationship between the corporation and the touristic service providers, their lack of group cohesion, managerial and operational capacities, ignorance and/or misuse of instruments for self-organization, make unfeasible for this group to address the barriers and support the drivers of the project. Relevant conditions from the context not covered by the previous methodologies were also included. These reflected that the advocacy for RETs is counteracted by the fragmentation between institutional actors and their lack of managerial skills on technology topics, which makes them rely on national and international assistance to achieve a technological transition. The regular interaction that Johnny Cay workers will have with the windmill, the affinity of the life plan of young adults to the project objectives and the likeliness of this group to make economic contributions urges the need for a participatory approach. The socio-cultural crisis of the Archipelago supports this recommendation. However, the difficulty of institutional entities to understand and assume the roles that require a participatory approach and the path dependency on top-down regulation makes it a complex challenge. A participatory approach for the FreshWaterMill is indirectly supported by the management plan of the Natural Regional Park Johnny Cay and the Community and institutional participation board. Additional to the commitment of the corporation to assume an enabling role, the process needs a mediator so the touristic service.
Agregar etiquetas para How can the participation of Johnny Cay workers support the FreshWaterMill project? Systems and bottom-up approach to a technology transfer from The Netherlands to Johnny Cay, San Andrés, Colombia