Water is a powerful lever to aid development, but so is knowledge. This is why Protos resolutely chose ‘action-research’ as its working method.


Our wish to contribute significantly despite being a minor player in the field of development cooperation lies at the heart of this choice. The problems afflicting the water sector in the South are mostly due to mismanagement and the absence of sound governance. With our ‘action-research’ approach, Protos and its partners wish to develop and test, within local contexts, new ideas and models for sound management and governance in the sectors ‘drinking water/sanitation’ and ‘water for agriculture’. Next, all accumulated experience and solutions are to be shared with other actors at all levels, from local ngo’s and authorities, to higher instances, institutions, international organisations etc.

Action-research is not an abstract exercise, but aims to achieve tangible results for all people concerned. ‘Action’ forms the bedrock; ‘Research’ provides greater impact and durability to ‘Action’.  Action-research subsumes the involvement of all actors in local development in every phase of a project, so they will be able to apply the acquired know-how in other sectors or future programmes.

The action-research cycle starts with the analysis of the existing situation, the defining of the problems and the providing of practical solutions, followed by a final appraisal. Documenting and disseminating all knowledge acquired during this process for further worldwide use and debate, is fundamental to action-research.

See also: Publications Protos