CARP (Citarum Action Research Program)

How to apply


Almost 20 million people rely on the Citarum River, the largest river in West java Indonesia, for their livelihoods and subsistence. They draw their water from it for their homes and agriculture and It powers their energy. They work alongside it. Running over 290 kilometers, the Citarum river has been the lifeblood of the West Java community for over 700 hundred years. Yet, it is one of the most polluted rivers in the world. This has a serious impact on the community’s health.

Each day 20,000 tons of solid waste and 340,000 tons of wastewater are dumped directly into the river by households and industry. The health costs to the community are severe.

The community that relies on the river is exposed to skin disease, gastrointestinal illness and respiratory distress. There’s even been a drop in edible fish with 60% of the river’s aquatic biodiversity lost. The pollution harms the entire community, but the burden falls heavily on those who are most vulnerable – including women and children. The challenge spans waste, water and human behaviour.

CARP is a mission driven, place-based and integrated approach to revitalising the Citarum River ecology and its vulnerable communities. The project aims to design, deliver and monitor a socio-technical intervention in a strategic location in the upper river catchment. We aim to develop evidence through a rigorous program of research in ecological health, well-being and community resilience to climate change.

Such a wicked, multidimensional challenge that can only be addressed through research and development activities span spatial, social and economic dimensions. We do so through engaging with a coalition of partners working across sectors and disciplines. We pursue a research model - Transdisciplinary Impact Research - which sets an arc from discovery research (new knowledge and innovation) that can go on to be tested on the ground through implementation working closely with governments, communities and the development sector.