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MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

Incorporating indigenous knowledge systems to improve resilience of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) provision in Pakistan

This research study focuses on the incorporation of indigenous knowledge (IK) in Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) programmes, with a specific case study conducted in Badin, Pakistan. The study addresses the pressing water scarcity and sanitation issues faced by the Sindhi community in the region. By analysing existing environmental stewardship practices and differentiating indigenous knowledge systems from other forms of knowledge, this research aims to assess the potential of integrating IK techniques in the Pakistani context. Findings reveal that IK is based on generational experience and worldview, distinct from rational, theoretic scientific methodologies. The research emphasises the need to shift from techno-centric approaches towards a hydro-social paradigm, considering diverse factors such as engineering, social, cultural, political, economic, and ecological aspects in whole-systems thinking. The case study in Badin exemplifies the applicability of IK, leveraging the K-C-P framework to demonstrate its potential value in addressing WASH issues. This research contributes to bridging the gap between indigenous knowledge and modern WASH practices, fostering sustainable and contextually appropriate solutions for water management and environmental stewardship in Pakistan.


Course Overview


The need to engage in better problem definition through careful dialogue with all stakeholder groups and a proper recognition of context.


An ability to work with specialists from other disciplines and professional groups acknowledging that technical innovation and business skills also must be understood, nurtured and combined as precursors to the successful implementation of sustainable solutions.


An understanding of mechanisms for managing change in organisations so future engineers are equipped to play a leadership role.


An awareness of a range of assessment frameworks, sustainability metrics and methodologies such as Life Cycle Analysis, Systems Dynamics, Multi-Criteria Decision making and Impact Assessment.