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UNESCO unitwin + Living Labs Network + Team Yuvaa NGO  16 weeks- 2023

a collection of research methodologies, archives and dialogue about the people and practices of Naubad Karez

Commons in the Naubad Karez

This project created a collection of research methodologies, archives and dialogue surrounding the people and practices around the Naubad Karez, a historical subterranean channel that transports groundwater across Bidar, southern India. 

Inspired by Elinor Ostrom and her work on CPR's, I explored the theory of commons in the Naubad Karez which dealt with the socio-cultural distribution of agency between the people living near the Karez, users of the water and organisational bodies (government and NGO's).

A comprehensive designed map with summarised research along the 3.1km and intersecting communities as below was used to the approach the DC (executive head of district), BUDA (Bidar Urban Development Authority) and other governmental bodies.

18SBD103_IADP_Docbook_SOS Waterscapes_Page_159mm.jpg

Interviews, focus group discussions and re-designed sociology and anthropology specific research models (IAD framework) methodologies were used for four month long research. 

Research questions: 

1. How well does the tragedy of commons allegory describe reality at Naubad?

2. Could the commons theory allow us to understand the usage of water and other water based practices of the Naubad Karez by the stakeholders?

3. Does the idea of commons provide a useful basis for choosing or designing regulatory solutions in the future and what methods could enable this?

Multiple interventions were developed throughout the entire project. The final materialisation of the research was a Kannada podcast which was co-designed with Medha Agarwal, a fellow classmate and with many stakeholders of the Naubad Karez

look at the entire project documentation here. 

View the podcast website below.

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