This past June, the US Embassy in Uganda sponsored the largest WPDx training to date in partnership with Uganda’s Ministry of Water and Environment. In Uganda, nearly 2/3 of people living in rural areas lack access to even basic water services. This training aimed to improve the Ministry’s capacity to utilize, analyze, and make data-driven water management decisions that ensure safe drinking water for all Ugandans. The three-day event was lead by Nick Dickinson of WASHNote and the water and sanitation expert from the US Ambassador’s Water Expert Program. A few weeks ago, WPDx had the chance to interview Nick and ask him about the training, his feedback, and more details of this significant event.
Date of interview: 2017/06/07
During the development of the white paper “Harnessing Water Point Data to Improve Drinking Water Services”, WASHNote spoke to Alexander Fischer, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Oxford, at the time researching drinking water security, application of geospatial information systems, and sustainable resource governance. Complementary to the use of national water point atlases, the local context of the data matters.
“I’m interested in the characteristics and elements of the institutional change, specifically around the value of water point data in this process. I hope to find ways to enhance the scope and use of standardized water point data across multiple scales of decisionmakers, including local level service enterprises. In most regions of Bangladesh, for instance, water quality and specifically arsenic testing of tubewells, is a critical variable for drillers, users, and regulators whereas non-functionality rates are comparatively lower and secondary water points in close proximity.”