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Awareness raising

Awareness raising or awareness building is the objective of information, education and communications activity, usually directed at the intended beneficiaries of services but also at other stakeholders, including politicians, government officials, and private companies. Identifying awareness raising as a specific activity of programmes and projects underlines the fact that a certain level of awareness – about the nature of services, the costs of services, the need to protect water after the point of collection, the need for hygienic use of water to control disease, and about many other aspects of water-related schemes – cannot be taken for granted among potential service users. Awareness of the relevant issues is necessary for effective participation and community ownership of schemes, for developing support for service charges and systems of tariff collection, and for introducing mechanisms for environmental protection. Awareness raising is needed to close the gap between the expectations of donors and project managers, and those of beneficiaries, especially among undereducated populations, and cannot be left to chance. See also Communications techniques.

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