The project was conducted as a part of the Sustainable Global Technologies Studio (SGT) course at the School of Engineering in Aalto University, Finland. The studio course brings together Master and PhD students of Aalto University to work together on real projects in technology and sustainability in a developing context. The planning of this project started in November 2017 and the course took place from January to May 2018. For the duration of the field trip to Nepal in March, three local students from Asian Institute of Technology and Management (AITM) joined the project team offering invaluable local insight to strengthen our team.
The Relation between Communication Practices and Knowledge Adoption of Sustainable Recovery Solutions in Kathmandu Valley.
Nepal experienced a 7.8 magnitude earthquake on 25th of April 2015, which resulted in approximately 9000 people dying and over 21 000 people being injured. In addition, over half million buildings were damaged (NPC, 2015). The massive destruction has resulted in an extensive reconstruction process that is still going on three years after the earthquake. Besides financial constraints, problems in communication between beneficiaries, government and organizations working with development projects are hindering the reconstruction.
Despite the problems, there are numerous successful communication means that the organizations in Nepal use to share information and sustainable practices with the local people. The aim of this report is to present communication means that we came across in the interviews with experts and organizations working on post-disaster reconstruction and beneficiaries of two case study sites in Bungamati and Dhungetar in Nepal. This report includes a short analysis of each mean of communication, examples and the relation of communication to different fields of sustainability.
Based on the 38 interviews we did with 83 people, it seems that the more participatory and inclusive the way of knowledge transfer is, the more likely it will result in a desired action and adopted knowledge. This means that a good communication practice should include two-way interaction. In addition, it seems that effective communication merges into existing social structures. Peer-to-peer communication is successful because of trust that already exists between individuals of a community.
We hope that this proves to be helpful for people working in disaster and development work organizations when considering what means of communication to use in order to communicate sustainable reconstruction practices to beneficiaries.