NEW: The GOBACIT network has expanded significantly, particularly in Latin America, where it became known as WATERLAT ( Although for a number of operational reasons, especially language, we maintained GOBACIT and WATERLAT separated since 2009, we have decided to reintegrate the two networks. The network has been renamed as WATERLAT-GOBACIT. We will maintain this site online for a while, but the new web address will be

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Main Coordinator 

 Newcastle University, School of Geography, Politics and Sociology (UoNew), (United Kingdom)

Partners in Alphabetical Order

School of Geography, Politics and Sociology (GPS), Newcastle University, United Kingdom

The University of Newcastle is an international centre of excellence in water research. The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology (GPS) is the focus for applied social sciences in the water field. Researchers of GPS work on urban infrastructure in developing countries, gender and indigenous studies, privatization of the water industry and sustainable livelihoods.

The participating research team at Newcastle is a member of the Water Research Group in the Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainability (NIReS).


Academy for the Study of the Environment and Social Well-being, India

The Academy is located in the city of Aligarh, about 140 kms. to the east of New Delhi. It aims to provide a forum where researchers, teachers, and doctors from universities, colleges, and research centres can interact and participate in research debates. It holds periodic meetings, and encourages publication of books and journals, research reports, newsletters, etc. It has an interdisciplinary approach and its members'expertise range from geography, environment, sociology, economics, education, medicine, anthropology,gender and women's studies and related disciplines. In addition to academic activities, the institution also assists in organizing awareness camps for the improvement of environment and quality of life in the region.

Principal researchers involved in this network:

  • Dr Rais Akhtar, President
  • Dr.(Mrs) Nilofar Izhar, Secretary, and Editor of the Journal of Region, Health and Health Care.

Autonomous University of Barcelona (UoBar), Faculty of Sciences, Institute of Environmental Science and Technology, Spain

The researchers participatin in GOBACIT are members of the Ecological Economics Group. This group started its activities in the early 1990s. In 1987, Martinez-Alier published his book Ecological Economics: Energy, Environment and Society (Blackwell, Oxford). In 1994, Giuseppe Munda (with a doctorate from the Free University of Amsterdam on environmental applications of multicriteria evaluation) joined the UAB. Since 1997, the group’s activities were extended to postgraduate teaching through a Programme in Ecological Economics and Environmental Management in the framework of the Doctorate in Environmental Sciences at UAB. Members of the group publish their work in journals such as Ecological Economics, Environmental Values, Energy Policy, Environment and Planning, European Journal of Operational Research.

Principal researchers involved in this network:



Autonomous University of Mexico City (UACM), College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Mexico

Principal researcher involved in this network:


Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), School of Engineering, Brazil

The School develops teaching and research activities in the fields of sanitary and environmental engineering. It offers undergraduate courses and supports a Post graduate Program in Sanitation, Environment, and Water Resources, comprising master and doctoral degrees. This graduate program is offered jointly with the Department of Water Resources and Hydraulic Engineering (EHR). The Master course in Sanitary Engineering was first created in 1972, and its name was changed in 1992 to Environment and Sanitation, reflecting the expanding interest of the School in environmental issues beyond the more restricted field of engineering. In 1996, the course was again renamed as Sanitation, Environment and Water Resources to incorporate the fields of hydraulics and Water Resources. The doctoral degree was strated in 2000.


Principal researchers involved in this network:


Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), Harvard University - US

Principal researcher involved in this network:


Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO) – Mexico

The Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO) is an international institution created with the mandate to promote teaching and research in the social sciences focusing on the development, integration and specific problems affecting Latin American countries. FLACSO was created in 1957 during the Latin American Conference on Social Sciences held in Rio de Janeiro with the support of UNESCO and the participation of the Member States. The original office was created in Santiago de Chile, but the 1973 military cup interrupted the activities, especially the postgraduate courses in Sociology and Political Science attended by students and professors from all over Latin America. This situation prompted the decentralisation of the institution in 1974 with the purpose of ensuring its permanence as an international body, which resulted in the creation of several academic units in different countries of the region. Today, FLACSO has units in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Dominican Republic and Surinam. The General Secretary is located in San Jose de Costa Rica.

FLACSO maintains an intensive collaborative activity with national, regional and international institutions through its teaching, research, consultancy and advisory activities. Among other institutions relevant for this project, FLACSO collaborates very closely with: Interamerican Development Bank (IDB); World Bank; UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC); UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD); Deustches Jugendinstitut (DJI); Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD); Joint Research Centre, Comission of the European Communities; OREALC/UNESCO; UNICEF; Organization of American States (OAS); Organization of Iberoamerican States (OEI); UN Development Programme (UNDP); Pan American Health Organization (PAHO); Economic System of Latin America (SELA). FLACSO Mexico.

In the context of increasing globalisation, FLACSO Mexico promotes interdisciplinary approaches in the social sciences based on the creation of international research networks and thematic research areas. There is an ongoing feedback between research and teaching activities at FLACSO, which offer different courses: MA in Population Studies, MA in Social Sciences, MA in Government, MA and PhD in Social Sciences, PhD in Social Science jointly with Georgetown University. Among the main thematic areas currently covered by research projects are: Population and Demography; Society, Culture and Innovation; Public Policy and Government.

Dr María Luisa Torregrossa Armentia has headed the research programme on ‘Water and society’ since 1988. The activities of the programme have included the training of students, collaborative interdisciplinary research, and consultancy work for the Mexican Water authorities (National Water Commission [CNA], Mexican Institute for Water Technology [IMTA]) and international organizations inclduing FAO – Mexico and the World Bank.

Principal researchers involved in the network:


Leibniz Institute for Regional Development and Structural Planning (IRS) Erkner (near Berlin), Germany

The Institute for Regional Development and Structural Planning (IRS) is a publicly funded research institute, belonging to the Leibniz Science Association, which specialises in urban and regional development. In interdisciplinary research teams the IRS analyses and assesses socio-economic, environmental and political developments and their management at a local, regional and international level. The IRS has a long-established track record of researching into, and advising stakeholders on, the governance of water resources and water infrastructure systems in cities and regions. Special fields of the IRS’ social science research on water are the spatial organisation of water resource management, relating to the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive, and institutional changes to systems of water supply and wastewater disposal. The IRS has considerable experience in disseminating its research results not only to the scientific community but also to decision-makers and other relevant actors at local and regional levels. The IRS has a staff of ca. 25 researchers and 30 non-research staff as well as considerable administrative and technical resources, including a specialist library, a high-performance DTP-system and a publicity unit. The IRS also houses a rich archive on urban design and planning in the GDR.

Principal researchers involved in this network:


Institute of Engineering (UNAM), National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico

The Institute of Engineering is one of the 22 Research Institutes of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Latin America’s largest university. More than 1000 researchers and students work at the Institute in different areas of engineering, including the area of Environmental Engineering that concentrates water research activities. The team directly involved in GOBACIT is the Water Treatment and Reuse Group (GTR), which has the objective of studying and developing solutions for: (a) the integrated management of water, (b) norms to control water pollution and quality, and (c) the treatment and reuse of water and biosolids. The GTR has been working for more than 12 years and during this time has produced several research papers, patents and technological projects. The GTR works for the government, private companies and research foundations and runs a Postgraduate Programme in Environmental Engineering that accepts students reading for Master and Doctoral degrees. All postgraduate students in our Postgraduate Programme are funded through scholarships or research grants. The Institute also welcomes applications for postdoctoral projects.

Principal researchers involved in this network:

Research Institute Gino Germani (IIGG), Faculty of Social Sciences, National University of Buenos Aires (UBA-FCS), Argentina

The Research Institute Gino Germani (IIGG) at the Faculty of Social Sciences (FCS), University of Buenos Aires, is one of the largest social science research centres in the country. It was created on the basis of the well-established Institute of Sociology, originally launched in 1940, which became an international research centre thanks to the contribution of the Italian sociologist Gino Germani. Today, it houses academics from the five sub-faculties of the FCS, Sociology, Political Science, Communication, Labour Relations, and Social Work, and also a number of senior researchers from the National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET). Work is organized in thematic areas and is carried out by interdisciplinary research teams with expertise in health, population, culture, politics, rural studies, urban studies, state reform, conflict and social change, labor and employment, gender issues, social stratification, public opinion, science and society, technological change, education, historical sociology, youth, epistemology and philosophy of social action. Among the Institute’s research teams with expertise relevant for this project is worth mentioning the following: Population, Health and Society, Conflict and Social Change, Urban Studies, Public Sector and State Reform, Science, Technology and Society.

A facet of the Institute’s activities which is highly relevant for this research project is that it has developed a co-operative working framework with a number of NGOs, government departments, municipalities, research centers, universities, and international organizations. In addition to this, the IIGG has already established research links with several user and community organizations which have been recently involved in mobilizations and negotiations around the provision of water and sanitation in Buenos Aires. This will favor the access to information, ensure the participation of stakeholders in the process, and provide an excellent vehicle for the dissemination of research results.

Principal researcher involved in the network:

National University of General Sarmiento (UNGS), Institute of the Conurbated Metropolitan Area Buenos Aires, Argentina

The Institute of the Conurbated Metropolitan Area (ICO) is a leading centre dedicated to research, teaching and community service provision both at the national level and in Latin America. It makes a valuable contribution to the construction of a “public sphere” in the region by promoting meetings between intellectuals, politicians, technical personnel and social agents to discuss urban issues and sustainable development processes. The ICO's research program focuses mainly on theoretical and socially relevant aspects of the “urban question”, and promotes a multidisciplinary approach to cover such issues as Social Policy, State, Government and Public Administration, Urban Economic Systems, Urban Ecology and Town Planning.

Principal researchers involved in the network:


Palestinian Hydrology Group for Water & Environmental Resources Development (PHG) Jerusalem and Ramallah, Palestine

The PHG is a Palestinian non government non profit organization striving to promote the role of women and civil society in managing local water and its related environmental resources to ensure transparency, good water governance and just and equal provision of water and sanitation services to the rural and marginal communities in the West Bank and Gaza. PHG is also striving to promote water research capacity and infrastructure in Palestine. PHG is seeking local and international networking and partnerships to participate actively in promoting the sustainability and just allocation of water resources at local, regional and global levels. The PHG has accomplished a number of research projects in the field of water resources and wastewater, particularly issues of quantity and quality. It has currently 2 laboratories for analysis in the cities of Hebron and Gaza. In addition, the PHG is currently involved in several regional research projects and/or co-ordination activities funded by European Commision under the INCO and MEDA programmes, focusing on issues of humidity passive harvest technologies, water saving in agriculture, desalination. integrated water resources management, and user participation.

Principal researchers involved in this network:


University of Cantabria, Department of Economics Santander, Spain

Principal researchers involved in this network:

Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU), University of Greenwich (UoGRE), United Kingdom

PSIRU’s core work involves maintaining a database and website monitoring developments in privatisation worldwide in water, energy, waste management and healthcare. This empirical work forms the basis for further reports e.g. on water privatisation in different regions. PSIRU is also the lead coordinator of a major 3-year research project on decision-making on water in cities in Europe, Watertime ( The project is funded by the European Commission funded under the 5th Framework Programme. PSIRU has just completed a 2-year international anti-corruption project for the international trade unions, funded by the Wallace Global Foundation. PSIRU’s reports and core database are funded by Public Services International (PSI), the global federation of trade unions representing workers in public services. PSIRU is recognised worldwide for its work on public services and privatisation, especially in the fields of water, energy, waste management and healthcare.

Principal researchers involved in the network:



Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Division of Urban and Regional Studies, Department of Urban Planning and Environment, School of Architecture and the Built Environment, Sweden.

Principal researchers involved in the network:


 Dept of Geography & Regional Planning, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.

Principal researchers involved in the network: