PhD - Bridging the differences

PhD Research by Ni Made Gilang Wargyawati
Full title: Bridging the differences: The interplay between meanings and practices in the Citarum river restoration program


For almost two decades, the Citarum river has become a priority for the Indonesian government in an attempt to tackle river pollution. The government designed many programs for river restoration. Although these restoration programs seemed less significant to address the pollution, the government launched yet another program in 2018. Until today, controversies around who is responsible for the pollution and how the government designed this program are impairing its implementation.

Aiming at a deeper understanding of how different meanings are at play in river restoration practices, this research relies on three perspectives informed by discourse analysis, social practice theory, and informality. By adopting three embedded cases, this research offers a learning and comparative analysis of how meanings, formal and informal practices are intertwined across different parts of the river.

Drawing on the interpretive tradition, the main objective is to understand and exchange insights about the multiplicity of meanings and practices associated with the Citarum river. This will pave the way to formulating more inclusive policies that enable direct engagement between stakeholders and open an opportunity to align the research results with restoration plans and policies at local, regional and national levels.

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