chapter  B2
22 Pages

BESSE

Knowledge brokerage and innovation for a sustainable sanitation
WithGiovanni Caiati, Luciano d’Andrea, Ragna Zeiss

Despite the rising public sensitivity towards environmental sustainability in Europe, more attention is paid to environmentally sustainable sanitation in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa than in North America and Europe. The BESSE project investigated why environmentally sustainable sanitation figures so low on the agenda of the various sanitation stakeholders in Europe and what role knowledge brokerage can play in changing this. In this chapter we identify numerous obstacles hindering innovation in the European sanitation sector and develop a model of an innovation cycle specifically geared to sanitation. Although knowledge brokerage by itself cannot overcome all the obstacles, it can play a strategic role in speeding up the dynamics of innovation in the sector. To do this, a wide range of knowledge, including but not limited to scientific and technological knowledge, needs to be brokered. A strategic approach to knowledge brokerage also needs to take already existing knowledge brokerage activities into account and regard knowledge brokerage as a context-sensitive activity. For each process of the innovation cycle we identify specific knowledge brokerage activities and develop policy guidelines.