This paper deals with the concept of ‘community acceptance testing (CAT)’ which is perhaps a new concept in the water supply sector. To understand this it is necessary to accept the water supply system as a product of engineering works and water as social goods. While the engineering approach verifies the product against predefined specifications, the CAT validates the capability of that product to satisfy user expectations. In the water supply, sanitation and hygiene sector, there is a culture of verification, but validation should also be given due importance. The validation process is based on user stories and is done before handing over the project to the community. It establishes the community's supremacy over system decision-making and service delivery. The CAT approach promotes the designing of community-engineered systems.

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