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Testing the waters: a qualitative comparative analysis of the factors affecting success in rendering water services sustainable based on ICT reporting

Date added: July 16, 2015

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This research, carried out by WaterAid, Itad and IRC, explores the factors that facilitate and inhibit the success of ICT-based reporting mechanisms in water supply sustainability.

Examining eight initiatives that are using ICTs to monitor and report on water supply services in Kenya, India, Uganda, Tanzania, Timor Leste and Bolivia, the team discusses why some of these initiatives were successful and attempts to explain which approaches and context-specific conditions were key to achieving change.

Findings in this research report suggest that ICT initiatives for reporting on water supply functionality are more likely to be successful if the reports are government- or service provider-led rather than reliant on crowdsourcing, and when the ICT mechanism is the preferred method of reporting.

Other key factors that facilitate successful reporting include mobile phone reception, availability of mobile phone charging facilities and affordability of reporting by water users.

The processing of ICT reports is more likely to be successful if the related operational costs are met by a government body or service provider and not by a third agency such as an INGO.

Internet connectivity, human resources and knowledge for processing, as well as the availability of back-up support to solve any problems with ICTs, are also crucial success factors.

You can download the 8 page policy brief with key lessons from Uganda and Timor Leste here,

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