Issue 145 | May 9, 2014 | Focus on Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
This issue contains recent reports, videos, and blog posts on WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) and ICT. Organizations working in WASH are using ICT to improve data on WASH services and improve the evidence of the impacts of WASH projects. Resources in this issue include a useful summary of WASH and ICT conference presentations, a video of a text messaging system in Uganda for reporting water supply problems, and examples of country applications from Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Nepal, and Zimbabwe.
The May 9 and May 16 issues of the Weekly will focus on cookstoves and menstrual hygiene management, respectively, so please contact WASHplus if you have recent studies or resources that can be featured on these topics
ICT & WASH: A Synthesis of Conference Presentations for Mobile Technology in the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Sector, 2013. B Mann, Tetra Tech. (Link)
ICT is quickly changing relationships in the WASH sector. Distances are becoming shorter and ICTs are now being used to facilitate the measurement and monitoring of interventions with data from customers, operators, and government. Using these new rich sources of data promises to guide equitable decision making for WASH services.
Can Mobile Data Improve Rural Water Institutions in Rural Africa? 2014. P Thomson, University of Oxford. (Link)
In 2013 Oxford University conducted a 12-month smart hand pump trial in rural Kenya that tested a new pump maintenance service model. The trial in Kyuso District in eastern Kenya, covering 66 hand pumps (corresponding to around 15,000 water users, depending on season) showed that near real-time, mobile-enabled data significantly improve operational performance. This data also have the potential to promote financial sustainability and are a mechanism that can enable institutional redesign of rural water services.
Changing Relationships: ICT to Improve Water Governance, 2013. WaterAid. (Link)
ICT is quickly changing relationships, facilitating the measurement and monitoring of interventions, and enabling practitioners at a local level to use evidence to guide decision making for the equitable and sustainable extension of WASH services. Despite this promising outlook, several challenges exist to achieve the full potential of ICT.
WASH: Lessons from Three Field Pilots, 2013. M Ball. (Link)
The application of ICT to support the delivery of water and sanitation services is a growing area of interest in the WASH sector. To study how these tools might be incorporated into existing management structures, the authors conducted field pilots of a mobile phone based application for transmitting water quality data in three distinct water supply structures: a large provincial utility in Vietnam, rural NGO operations in Cambodia, and district health authorities in Mozambique.