Water Point Data

Interview with Alexander Fischer from Oxford University

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.”




DiMES water services monitoring framework

The SMARTerWASH project was a project performed in Ghana by IRC, CWSA, Akvo and SkyFox Limited. The project built on DiMES and the national monitoring framework for Ghana published by CWSA. The project strengthened the national ICT infrastructure by linking different ICT systems for monitoring (CWSA’s DiMES, Akvo’s FLOW and SkyFox’ SMS-based system for tracking functionality and ordering spare parts) and by ensuring interoperability of the systems. The project tested data collection at scale: data for 131 districts (out of 216) were gathered collecting data from 23.000 handpumps and nearly a thousand piped schemes. The data are available through fact sheets and an atlas that is accessible online. There is, mostly anecdotal, evidence that baseline data have been used to inform planning and corrective actions in several districts (see the SMARTerWASH stories). The data have for example been used in 11 districts in the Upper West, Upper East, Western, Brong-Ahafo and Northern Regions to inform District Water and Sanitation Plans (DWSP). The data have also informed repairs and rehabilitation of over 600 boreholes with hand pumps restoring water services to an estimated 180,000 people and have stimulated several District Assemblies to form or reconstitute WSMTs (e.g. reconstitution of 203 WSMTs in Hilton districts and 24 in UNICEF districts).