4.1 Social acceptance

Cooking a meal using biogas generated from excreta may sound problematic for some stakeholders and initially met with some scepticism, as demonstrated by a case study published by ACF.

Community Acceptance of Biogas (ACF)

Social acceptance can be seen in relation to participation. Overall, with a higher degree of participation by the inhabitants, a stronger sense of belonging and responsibility will be developed. A strong sense of responsibility will increase the chance of longevity of the project as operation and maintenance remain one of the main challenges for biodigesters.

Degree of Participation and Responsibility (Camp Management Toolkit)

Overall, seven rules can be followed to increase the likeliness of acceptance and support:

  1. Inform the population early and continuously about the project.
  2. Take any concerns seriously and face criticism.
  3. Look for personal conversations with residents.
  4. Actively involve the population in the project.
  5. Use recurring events for public relations work.
  6. Use existing information and advertising material.
  7. Get people excited about biogas and the opportunities offered by biogas from human faeces.

The following table presents some specific actions to involve communities in implementing biogas projects according to the Degree of Participation and Responsibility.

PassiveInformation TransferConsultationFunctionalInteractiveOwnership
Information dissemination on project implementation.Guided field tours to existing biodigesters and system demonstrations.Group discussion at the community level on the necessity of sustainable solutions.Community representative takes part in implementation.Participatory design and budgeting of a biogas system.Biodigesters are replicated and initiated by the camp communities.
Possible Actions for Community Involvement According to the Degree of Participation and Responsibility

Take a few minutes to think about any other specific actions that may contribute to community involvement.