Arsenic contamination of shallow hand pump tube well drinking water in Bangladesh has created opportunities for radical innovations to emerge. One such innovation is the household Sono filter, designed to remove arsenic from water supplies. Applying a strategic niche management approach, and based on interviews, focus groups and a workshop, this article explains the Sono filter's failure to establish itself as a successful niche technology. Three explanatory factors are identified: lack of a strong social network (of technology producers, donors, users, and government actors) around it; diverging expectations regarding its potential to be a long-term solution; and lack of second-order learning amongst key actors. Beyond these three factors that help to explain the lack of successful niche formation, this paper clearly shows that the overwhelming dependency on fund-driven projects also deters successful niche formation in the context of the developing world.

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