Lessons Learned from the Analysis of Community-Based Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Program (PAMSIMAS) in Indonesia

This is a guest blog by RWSN members D. Daniel, Trimo Pamudji Al Djono, and Widya Prihesti Iswarani, based in Indonesia.

Data tell us many things. We can learn the patterns of any phenomenon using data. In this blog, we bring you to the archipelago country of Indonesia where water access is still a challenge, especially in rural areas. As of 2020, only 82% of households in rural Indonesia have access to basic water services, while almost 95% of urban households enjoy those water services.

To tackle this, the Indonesian government launched the community-based drinking water supply program, called “Program Penyediaan Air Minum dan Sanitasi Berbasis Masyarakat (PAMSIMAS)” in 2007. Almost 22 million people in 32 thousand villages throughout Indonesia got PAMSIMAS access from 2008 to 2020. PAMSIMAS is one of the biggest rural water supply programs in the world. Unfortunately, not many stories from PAMSIMAS are shared with the global community, so we are here to tell you the story!

PAMSIMAS infrastructure

PAMSIMAS is conducted at the village level and managed by the community itself. If we talk about functionality, the data in 2020 indicates that 85.4% of the PAMSIMAS programs were fully functioning, 9.1% were partially functioning, and 5.5% were not functioning. Thus, we can say that the success rate for this program is quite high.

The main question now is what can we learn from the PAMSIMAS program? Here are some lessons learned from our study:

First, household connections have a higher chance of being sustainable (99%) than communal or public connection (69%), e.g., public tap. We can relate it to the payment system. Almost 40% of the communal connections had no payment system, compared to only 3.5% of the household connection. From the field experience, it is relatively challenging to implement and collect water fees in the communal systems, especially because there is no water meter measuring the actual use of households. We should take into account also that other people from outside often come and draw water without paying for it, which can cause jealousy from the actual beneficiaries and make them hesitate to continue paying for the water service.  All of these can result in not enough money for the water board to maintain and repair any damage in the system.

Second, let’s talk about the contribution made by the community or beneficiaries toward the program. We all agree that it is important for the community to contribute to the program, either in form of in-kind, e.g., in the program planning, pipe and system construction, etc., or in-cash, e.g., monthly tariff or construction cost. We may think that the more people participate in those activities, the higher the chance of the water service being sustainable. And yes, it is true. However, our analysis found that community contribution in the form of regular-monthly payment is more influential than in-kind contributions at the beginning of the project to sustain the PAMSIMAS program. We again highlight that regular payment by the beneficiaries is important to sustain the program.

PAMSIMAS infrastructure

Third, the success of the rural water supply program cannot be achieved without favorable human factors, such as a well-performing water board and good support or contributions from the community. For the former, we suggest that mentoring of the village water board by the district facilitator can be done to ensure that the water board has sufficient capacity to efficiently manage the piped system, e.g., repair broken pipes or implement cost-effective operation & maintenance.

Fourth, financial support from the national and district government is critical, e.g., by providing extra subsidies or incentives outside the main fund scheme. In this case, only well-performing water boards or PAMSIMAS programs have a chance to apply for these extra funds. Thus, this will trigger the water board to perform well before they apply for it. In short, we need support from all governmental levels: national, district, and village.

Fifth, we have to understand the relationship between water board performance and support from the community. Let’s have a look, for example, at monthly payments: the well-performing water boards will increase the trust of the community and minimize any interruption in water delivery. As a result, the community would be happy to pay the water fee regularly and support the water board activities. In other words, this will create positive conditions for the water board.

Lastly, we know that water access is a human right. We (and the government) are trying to provide water to everyone in need, especially vulnerable groups, e.g., poor people or those who live in difficult areas. On behalf of human rights, the government is willing to spend a lot of money on those groups, which may result in a very high investment per capita. Some reasons for the high investment per capita are a small number of beneficiaries, wide coverage area of the water supply system, or scattered housing in remote areas. However, our analysis found that a high investment per capita is not associated with a sustainable PAMSIMAS program. We don’t want to say stop providing water for them, but rather the need for a comprehensive economic analysis and system design in the feasibility study before the project starts.

There are many things to share with you but we don’t have enough space to write everything here. If you are still curious, please check our scientific publications about PAMSIMAS below. See you!

Factors related to the functionality of community-based rural water supply and sanitation program in Indonesia. Geography and Sustainability. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geosus.2022.12.002

The effect of community contribution on the functionality of rural water supply programs in Indonesia. Groundwater for Sustainable Development. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gsd.2022.100822

A System Dynamics Model of the Community-Based Rural Drinking Water Supply Program (PAMSIMAS) in Indonesia. Water. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040507

About the authors:

(D.) Daniel is a lecturer and researcher at Public Health Graduate program, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia. His main topics of interest are water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) system in rural areas, household water treatment practice/behaviour, the sustainability of WASH services, drinking water quality at the household level, and public health issue in general.

Trimo Pamudji Al Djono has 25 years of experience in community development and empowerment programs/projects in urban and rural. Trimo has worked for the World Bank for 14 years managing national programs and has experience as a researcher and lecturer by becoming a Lecturer in Environmental Engineering at the Jakarta Sapta Taruna College (STTST) and Singaperbangsa Karawang University. Other experiences include working as a consultant at GHD, Plan International, Unicef, UNIDO, Aguaconsult, and NORC University of Chicago.

Widya Prihesti Iswarani is a lecturer/researcher in the field of environmental science and engineering. She is currently working at Avans University of Applied Sciences and Centre of Expertise Biobased Economy in The Netherlands. Her main topics of interest are water and wastewater treatment, resource recovery, and the sustainability of WASH in developing countries.

Photo credits: D. Daniel, Trimo Pamudji Al Djono, and Widya Prihesti Iswarani

World Water Forum 9: “We need to act and now, because there is no green without blue and life is blue”

Short reflection by Maimouna Diop, a Senegalese Young Water Professional who chaired Session 2a4 “Rural Water Supply Management Models” at the World Water Forum 2022, on behalf of RWSN.

Maimouna Diop, Ing. MBA, PMP

This forum is definitely the most impactful ever. Dakar has been the capital of water for 6 days.

Young people have been mobilized around the world to show their commitments. We will live through difficult times in the coming decades: resources will become scarce, demography will experience an exponential rise and funding will be difficult to mobilize due to the global crisis we are already experiencing. The expected action is therefore human and it is now. We must be at the heart of politics by investing ourselves intellectually and physically.

Just a quick reminder : issues related to water control and food security in Senegal were discussed 39 years ago, during a session at the National Assembly on April 14, 1983, with the late Minister Samba Yela Diop (May his soul rest in peace). It simply means that water security is nothing new and that our elders knew how to sound the alarm at an early stage. We have to be as benevolent as our elders to identify new challenges to be met in the coming years.

Understanding the issues related to water will ensure that appropriate decisions can be made and for future generations.

We need to act and now, because there is no green without blue and life is blue.

Session Presentations:

New from WaterAid: Piped water supply services: strengthening management models in rural and small town contexts

Re-blogged from WaterAid

Many governments have set ambitious targets for reaching people with piped water services. Providing water taps in people’s homes is one way of achieving safely managed access in line with the Sustainable Development Goal for water. But installing more household taps must come with stronger efforts to professionalise service management, ensure adequate levels of support, and that services are inclusive. Without paying sufficient attention to these and other aspects, there is a risk that piped water supply services will under-perform in low income areas, resulting in poor service levels and lost investment. There are, of course, alternatives to tapped water supplies, and these should be considered where a piped service is not viable.

This publication is the second in a series focused on management models for piped water services in rural and small town settings. The first publication, Management models for piped water services, set out the factors that affect the sustainability of piped water, presenting ten different management models. This publication is a decision-making resource and is designed to help practitioners select or strengthen management arrangements for piped water supplies in different contexts. It compares the viability of the ten management models against the following four variables:

  • Commercial viability and economies of scale
  • Technical complexity, connectedness and local capacity 
  • Sector policy, legislation and financing arrangements
  • Regulation and accountability mechanisms, local preferences, and ensuring inclusive services for all

Top image: Nawoli Jesca, 25, commercial officer, and Nkundizana Julius, 25, team leader of the Busolwe Piped Water Supply System check on a pipe to the main water reservoir in Butaleja District, Uganda, November 2018. 


3 ways to improve water security for climate resilience

1. More accurate and granular analysis of climate risk is needed to increase relevance of climate information
2. Metrics for monitoring climate resilience in water systems are critical to track progress and inform investments for water security
3. New institutional models that improve water security will be critical for climate resilience

Dr. Katrina Charles, REACH Co-Director

In case you missed it, last week REACH launched its new Water Security for Climate Resilience Report, synthesising six years of interdisciplinary research on climate resilience and water security in Africa and Asia. You can also read a summary of the full report with recommendations.

The REACH programme has been partnering with RWSN since 2015.

Water security and climate resilience are interlinked.

This may seem like a simple statement, but in reality it is a complex relationship. Water security and climate resilience are both about managing risks – from water-related issues and climate-related hazards, respectively – to achieve better outcomes for all sectors of society. There are intuitive relationships at large scales, but underlying them are complexities shaped by the environment, and our interactions with it.

Climate change headlines often focus on temperature increases. These changes will be significant and have severe impacts as highlighted by the heatwaves in recent weeks in North AmericaPakistan and India. These increases in temperature come with dramatic changes to our weather, in turn affecting the complex water systems that are essential to so much of our lives and our planet. Floods and droughts are the most visceral example of this impact, which also receive regular coverage on the news. But climate change is affecting water security for humans and ecosystems in many more subtle ways.

Climate change is impacting our drinking water supplies. There is a limit to how much capacity they have to absorb weather extremes, especially for smaller systems. Heavy rainfall is linked to many major waterborne outbreaks in developed countries. A major drought led to severe water rationing in Cape Town in 2018, nearly causing the city’s taps to run dry, known as Day Zero. The report highlights that for smaller water systems that people outside cities rely on the impact of weather is often less clear, but the evidence is that there is limited climate resilience.

Water quality varies with weather. Rainfall increases the mobility of faecal contamination, with different types of system more vulnerable to heavy rainfall, exposing the users to diseases such as typhoid. Without reliable water supplies, people use a range of water sources to meet their water needs year-round, trading off risks between reliable water supplies that might be saline or expensive, with seasonal but unsafe water sources. Climate change will increase weather extremes leading to increased contamination and less reliability.

Fresh water scarcity is increasing. Industrialisation and urbanisation are increasing both the demand for fresh water and its pollution, with toxic compounds that are difficult to remove. Climate change is amplifying these threats by reducing the availability of reliable water, increasing salinity, especially in coastal areas, and changing river flows that flush saline and polluted water. Reduced river flows from changing rainfall patterns will increase exposure to pollution for those who rely on river water for washing and bathing, and increase saline intrusion from the coast. Building resilience requires better management of fresh water resources to reduce the increasing contamination that is making water harder to treat.

Women using river water for washing in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Credit: Sonia Hoque
Women using river water for washing in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Credit: Sonia Hoque

To build the adaptive capacity of water systems to cope with changes in climate, climate information needs to be available to water managers at the appropriate spatial and temporal scale. Ensembles of global climate models provide useful information about global climate, but analysis is needed to identify the relevant climate models that best capture local climate. More investment is needed to provide the tools that water managers need to make informed decisions to increase climate resilience, such as accurate projections at local scales and seasonal forecasting based on understanding of local climate drivers. The information needed varies for different users, but is critical to build resilience for managers of small water systems, reservoirs, and basins.

The report synthesises six years of interdisciplinary research by the REACH team across Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Collaborations in our Water Security Observatories have allowed us to understand how water security risks are experienced, how inequalities are created and reproduced with new policies, and how new tools and science can support better decision making. The report highlights the impact the REACH programme has achieved with funding from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), in partnership with UNICEF, for the benefit of millions of people. It concludes with three recommendations for to advance water security for climate resilience:

  1. More accurate and granular analysis of climate risk is needed to increase relevance of climate information
  2. Metrics for monitoring climate resilience in water systems are critical to track progress and inform investments for water security
  3. New institutional models that improve water security will be critical for climate resilience

Climate change will increasingly affect water availability and quality, with devastating consequences for the most vulnerable. Improving water security is critical to build resilience to the changing climate.

El camino hacia el desarrollo de herramientas para el manejo de activos

Esta entrada fue realizada por PRACTICA Foundation como miembro de la RWSN.

En el ultimo post, se mostraron las herramientas para el manejo de activos que se estan desarrollando por la Alianza WASH Internacional. Las experiencias previas demostraron que utilizar un enfoque basado en los usuarios es importante para incrementar el impacto de los proyectos. Para este caso, las actividades principales incluyeron un mapeo de usuarios y sus necesidades, diseño de herramientas y pruebas en campo asi como su promocion en las comunidades.

Aditi Goyal, coordinadora de Smart-tech se refiere al proceso de diseño como uno basado en pequeñas iteraciones.

“Hay muchas maneras de llegar al mismo punto. Lo importante es llegar a donde el usuario necesita que lleguemos

Ella se refiere a las características, usabilidad y adaptabilidad de las herramientas que se están desarrollando. Destacando la importancia de escuchar los puntos de vista de todos los actores que se encuentra involucrados en el proyecto. De experiencias previas, Aditi está consciente que los primeros borradores siempre tienden a ser completamente diferentes a lo que se entregan como producto final. Sin embargo, el proceso de confrontar y discutir las ideas conlleva a una etapa de maduración de las mismas.

El proceso

A continuación, se presenta el proceso que se ha adoptado para el desarrollo de las herramientas para el manejo de activos:

1. Mapeo de usuarios y sus necesidades

El proceso comienza con trabajo de campo, interactuando con las comunidades locales para entender el contexto en el cual se van a utilizar las herramientas. Este proceso incluye un mapeo de quienes serán los usuarios finales, definir sus características en relación a sus medios de vida, conexión a internet, nivel educación y a la manera en la que actualmente obtienen y utilizan la información relacionada a sus sistemas de agua. Definitivamente, esto contribuye a determinar acertadamente cuales son las características de las herramientas que harán la vida de los usuarios mas fácil.  Un enfoque participativo e inclusivo asegura que los grupos vulnerables sean tomados en cuenta durante todo el proceso.

2. Diseño y desarrollo del producto

En esta sección se aborda la forma final que tendrán las herramientas, así como su contenido. Este proceso se lleva a cabo por medio de múltiples iteraciones que deben incluir a todos los actores. De acuerdo a la experiencia de la Alianza WASH Internacional, un buen mapeo de necesidades siempre facilita el proceso de diseño. Comúnmente, este proceso se lleva a cabo por medio de trabajo de campo. Sin embargo, debido a las restricciones impuesta por la pandemia de Covid-19, esto no fue posible para este proyecto.

3. Pruebas, promoción y entrega de las herramientas.

Este proceso no se ha realizado aún. Una vez que las herramientas hayan sido programadas y probadas por las organizaciones locales en Nepal (CIUD y Lumanti) se va a identificar y a proveer de apoyo técnico a una institución local que se encargue de implementar y adoptar las herramientas en todo el país. La aplicación web, el tablero de control y la herramienta de aprendizaje online serán circuladas con todos los grupos para los que ha sido diseñada. Las herramientas se encuentran en un ambiente publico para permitir cambios y mejoras conforme son necesarios (para este proyecto, el ambiente de Moodle ha sido seleccionado). El software recibirá mantenimiento por los próximos 5 años, por la misma compañía que lo desarrollo.

Lecciones aprendidas…hasta ahora.

Algunas reflexiones finales han sido obtenidas de las discusiones que han tomado lugar en el proyecto.

Los comentarios de los usuarios son de suma importancia para lograr herramientas robustas. El equipo de diseño necesita pasar tiempo en el campo, entrevistando a los futuros usuarios y entendiendo las necesidades reales. Muchas veces, lo que creemos que necesitan los usuarios, tiende a ser completamente diferente a lo que realmente necesitan. Flexibilidad, comunicación y buena planeación ayudan a solventar las dificultades en los proyectos. Por ejemplo, para este proyecto no fue posible realizar trabajo de campo debido a las restricciones impuestas por Covid-19. Para superar esto Smart-tech distribuyó las herramientas con el personal de campo para verificar su usabilidad y obtener comentarios con respecto a su implementación en condiciones reales. Estas acciones incrementan la comunicación entre los actores involucrados, ayudando a alcanzar las metas de una manera mas eficiente. Como se refiere Aditi:

‘Tener una planeación adecuada ha sido importante para el proyecto, ya que permite monitorear los productos y revisar si se han alcanzado las metas en tiempo y forma’

Agradecimiento especial para Aditi Goyal por su participación al proveer información para este blog. Este documento has sido creado por la Fundación Practica como miembro de la Alianza WASH Internacional, como p arte del Consorcio WASH SDG. Para mas información por favor contactar: info@practica.org; o visita http://www.practica.org. Foto: CIUD Nepal.

La feuille de route pour le développement d’outils de gestion des actifs (GA)

Ceci est un blog de la Fondation PRACTICA, organisation membre du RWSN.

Dans le précédent article, les outils de GA en cours de développement par la WASH Alliance International ont été présentés. Nos expériences précédentes ont démontré qu’il est important d’adopter des approches inclusives et centrées sur les utilisateurs pour augmenter l’impact des activités du projet. Les principales étapes que nous avons suivies pour mettre en place une telle approche sont détaillées dans cet article.

Aditi Goyal, la coordinatrice du développement de l’apprentissage en ligne chez Smart-tech (une entreprise technologique népalaise) qualifie ce projet de « processus itératif continu ».

« Il y a plusieurs manières d’arriver au même résultat. L’important est d’arriver là où les utilisateurs nous emmènent »

Elle fait référence aux fonctionnalités, à la convivialité et à l’adaptabilité des outils à développer. Être à l’écoute du point de vue de chacun représente un atout pour la mise en œuvre du projet. Ses expériences précédentes lui ont apprises que les premières ébauches ont tendance à différer complètement de ce qui est livré en tant que produit final. Pourtant, elles sont essentielles au processus de maturation dans lequel les idées sont confrontées, partagées et améliorées par un processus de rétroaction continue.

Feuille de route 

1. Évaluation des besoins et cartographie des utilisateurs

Nous avons commencé en allant sur le terrain afin d’interagir avec les communautés locales et de comprendre le contexte dans lequel les outils de GA seraient pilotés. Une cartographie des utilisateurs potentiels a été réalisée, incluant la définition de leurs caractéristiques en termes de moyens de subsistance, de connectivité internet, de taux d’alphabétisation, et la manière dont ils collectent et utilisent actuellement les informations pour effectuer des travaux sur les systèmes. L’objectif ayant été de définir les besoins auxquels les outils doivent répondre. Une approche participative et inclusive a été adoptée afin de garantir la prise en comptes des groupes vulnérables et de leurs besoins dans l’ensemble du processus.

2. Conception et développement

Cette étape a permis de décider à quoi ressembleraient les outils, comment les informations seraient présentées, et le contenu devant être priorisé. C’était un processus long car plusieurs itérations ont été effectuées avant que tous les acteurs impliqués soient d’accord sur le produit final. L’expérience de l’Alliance Internationale WASH montre qu’une bonne évaluation des besoins facilitera toujours le processus de conception. Idéalement, le travail sur le terrain doit avoir lieu pendant les itérations pour évaluer si le développement est en bonne voie. Cependant, en raison des restrictions imposées par le Covid-19, il n’a pas été possible d’effectuer toutes les vérifications sur le terrain durant cette phase.

3. Test, promotion et mise à l’échelle des outils.

Ce processus n’a pas encore eu lieu. Une fois les outils programmés et testés, les partenaires locaux de l’Alliance Internationale WASH au Népal (CIUD et Lumanti) identifieront et fourniront une assistance technique aux hôtes institutionnels qui suivront la mise en œuvre et l’adoption des outils dans tout le pays.

L’application, le tableau de bord et l’outil e-learning seront diffusés auprès des différents groupes cibles. Les outils seront fournis dans un environnement open source pour permettre une mise à l’échelle et une amélioration continue (par exemple, Moodle a été sélectionné pour l’apprentissage en ligne). Le logiciel sera techniquement maintenu et mis à jour pendant une période de 5 ans par la société de logiciels sous contrat.

Leçons apprises… jusqu’à présent

Des leçons clés ont été extraites des discussions avec les parties prenantes impliquées concernant leurs expériences dans ce projet et ailleurs.

Les commentaires des utilisateurs sont extrêmement importants pour développer un outil robuste. L’équipe doit passer du temps sur le terrain, échanger avec les futurs utilisateurs et comprendre leurs principaux besoins. Ce que nous pensons que les utilisateurs veulent et ce dont ils ont réellement besoin sont souvent deux choses différentes.Flexibilité, communication et bonne planification aident à surmonter les difficultés des projets. Il n’était pas possible de mener des travaux sur le terrain en raison des restrictions liées au Covid-19. Mais pour surmonter ce problème, SmartTech a partagé les outils avec les agents locaux qui ont effectué les vérifications et obtenu des retours sur la convivialité et l’opérabilité des outils. Une bonne communication entre les acteurs impliqués, aide à atteindre les objectifs de manière plus efficace. Comme Aditi le mentionne :

« Suivre le calendrier de planification est important depuis le début du projet, cela m’aide à suivre les livrables et à voir si les objectifs ont été atteints à temps »

Des remerciements particuliers vont à Aditi Goyal pour ses idées sur le processus de développement d’outils. Ce document a été développé par la Fondation Practica en tant que membre de l’Alliance Internationale WASH, partenaire du WASH SDG Consortium. Pour plus d’informations : info@practica.org / http://www.practica.org. Crédit photo: CIUD Nepal.

The road map for Asset Management tools development

This is a guest blog by RWSN Member Organisation PRACTICA Foundation.

In the last blog post, the Asset Management tools under development by the WASH Alliance International were presented. Previous experiences demonstrated that including user-centered approaches is key to increase the impact of project activities. The main activities for this project include a needs’ assessment, user story mapping, tool design, field testing promotion and the roll out of the tools.

Aditi Goyal, the e-learning development coordinator at Smart-tech, a Nepalese tech company, refers to this project as a continuous iterative process.

“There are many ways to get to the same place. The important thing here is to get where users take us”

She is referring to the features, usability and adaptability of the tools under development. Highlighting the importance of listening to everyone’s point of view represents an advantage for project implementation. From her previous experiences, she knows that first drafts tend to differ completely to what is delivered as final products. However, they are useful for the maturity process in which the ideas are confronted, shared and thus improved by a continuous feedback process.

The roadmap

Below, we present the process adopted to develop the asset management tools:

1. Need’s assessment and user story mapping

We began the process by going into the field. Enabling the interaction with local communities and understanding the context where the asset management tools would be piloted. This process included mapping of the potential users, defining their characteristics in terms of livelihoods, internet connectivity, literacy rates, and their current way of collecting and using information to perform works related to water system management. This supported in defining what the tools need to do to make their lives easier. A participatory and inclusive approach has been adopted to ensure that vulnerable groups and their needs were also considered in the whole process.

2. Design and development

This included deciding how the tools would look like, how the information would be presented, and the content that needed to be prioritized. This has been a lengthy process since multiple iterations needed to be done until all involved actors agreed on the final product. From the WASH Alliance International experience, a good needs’ assessment will always facilitate the design process. Normally, fieldwork should take place during the iterations to assess whether the development process is on the right track. However, due to the restrictions imposed by the spread of Covid-19, it was not possible to conduct all field verifications during this phase.

3. Testing, promotion and scaling of the tools.  

This process has not taken place yet. Once the tools have been programmed and tested, the local partners of the WASH Alliance International in Nepal (CIUD and Lumanti) will identify and provide technical assistance to the institutional hosts who will monitor the implementation and adoption of the tools throughout the country.

The app, dashboard and the e-learning tool will be circulated among  different target groups. The tools will be provided in an open-source environment to enable further scaling and improvement (for example for the e-learning Moodle has been selected). The software will be technically maintained and updated for a period of 5 years by the contracted software company.

Lessons learned…so far.

Key lessons have been extracted from the discussions with involved stakeholders regarding their experiences in this and other related projects.

User feedback is extremely important to make a robust tool. The team needs to spend time in the field, talking to future users and understanding their main needs. What we think users want and what they actually need is often quite different.

Flexibility, communication and good planning helps to overcome difficulties in projects. For example, there was no possible to conduct fieldwork due  to Covid-19 restrictions. To overcome this issue SmartTech shared the tools with local field officers to do the verification and to obtain feedback about the usability and operability of the tools. These actions enhance communication among involved actors, helping to achieve goals in a more efficient way. As Aditi refers:

Following the planning schedule has been important since the beginning of the project, it helps me to track the deliverables and to see whether the goals have been achieved on time’.

Special thanks go to Aditi Goyal for her insights on the process of tool development. This document was developed by Practica Foundation as a member of the WASH Alliance International, partner of the WASH SDG Consortium. For more information please contact: info@practica.org; or visit http://www.practica.org. Photo credit: CIUD, Nepal.

Just another toolbox? How user-centered design and locally led IT development keep water flowing

This is a guest blog by RWSN Member Organisation PRACTICA Foundation.

The WASH Alliance International value proposition for tools supporting sustainable water systems’ maintenance in rural settings

In previous posts, it was discussed why Asset Management (AM) represented an opportunity for improving the technical and financial operation of water systems in the Global South. However, experiences have taught us that simply proposing ‘tools’ as a solution for sustainable water management is not the answer. Since the 1980s, AM tools have been available as complex software packages with huge data requirements. As a start point to simplify the implementation of AM, Practica Foundation built an Excel-based tool. However, it became clear that an Excel tool might not be user-friendly and can easily become too complicated and time consuming to be effectively used by local water operators and user committees.

The value proposition from the WASH Alliance International approach

The WASH Alliance International under the WASH SDG programme is developing a set of open-source tools based on iterative and human-centred design processes. The development of the tools is led by SmartTech, a software company based in Nepal.  To ensure that all users’ needs are considered, plenty of time has been invested in actively engaging local stakeholders.  This group consist of water user committees, men and women, entrepreneurs and regulating bodies such as (local) governments. The stakeholders are engaged in the design, prototyping, and field testing.

 ‘What triggered me the most, is the high level of collaboration that the stakeholders have achieved, supported by the WASH Alliance International’. – Serish Dhital, Project Lead at Smart Tech.

He further adds, ‘the design team should spend enough time understanding who the users are, what their specific needs are, what their priorities and constraints are. In the end, this will result in the development of a tool that is easy to understand, and that people really want to use because it makes their lives easier and has clear benefits such as time-saving and cost-effectiveness.

Asset Management ‘tools’
  1. E-learning tool

To guide the asset management application, it is important that everyone involved has a clear understanding of the concept of asset management. Therefore, a capacity building component has been integrated in the introduction of asset management toolbox. The e-learning is a user-friendly interactive tool that makes use of Moodle (an open-source platform). The learning process has been separated into 3 different modules, each of them aiming at different target groups. The first one aims for the water user committee members (WUC), representatives from the government of villages or towns. Here the e-learning tool deals with the basics and why of implementing Asset Management in rural and peri-urban water systems.

The second target group includes the water systems’ caretakers and NGO field-level staff. Here, the addressed topics are more technical and practical oriented, including the implementation and monitoring of an asset management plan in a real-life setting. The third module aims at professionals from government, NGOs and private companies. Here, the main focus is to translate the knowledge that has been acquired in the first two modules into a solid AM strategy and plan. Including a section to analyze different costing and tariff scenarios.  

2. Android app

The app is in the process of development. Based on the identified needs the app is expected to include:

  1. A digital cashbook with the income and expenditures per month.
  2. Maintenance activities per asset divided in three categories: preventive, inspective and reactive. With the possibility to include maintenance logs.
  3. Service monitoring  to check the provided service level  in terms of water quantity and quality.

3. Dashboard

The web-based dashboard allows to monitor maintenance, finance and to plan service activities for the systems’ assets. The envisioned functionalities include:

  1. Financial data visualization: Includes the current and expected annual income and expenditure, and a Cashbook with monetary flows.  
  2. Maintenance: Includes a detailed cost visualization of operation and maintenance costs, with a split up in material-, replacement-, labour costs. And a risk assessment for the systems’ assets.
  3. Service level monitoring: Includes the volumes of water supplied per month, and the water quality. And the possibility to check whether this is in line with volume of water sold, so non-revenue water can be accounted for.

In the next and last post of this blog series the road map for implementation, sharing, promotion, and scaling of the tools will be presented.

Special thanks go to Serish Dhital, project lead at SmartTech. This document was developed by Practica Foundation as a member of the WASH Alliance International, partner of the WASH SDG Consortium. For more information please contact: info@practica.org; or visit http://www.practica.org. Photo credit: CIUD, Nepal.

Juste une boîte à outils supplémentaire ? Comment une conception centrée sur l’utilisateur et le développement local des outils informatiques permettent à l’eau de continuer à couler

Ceci est un blog de la Fondation PRACTICA, Organisation membre du RWSN.

L’Alliance Internationale WASH valorise les outils soutenant la maintenance durable des systèmes d’approvisionnement en eau en milieu rural

Dans les articles précédents, nous avons expliqué pourquoi la gestion d’actifs (GA) représentait une opportunité pour améliorer le fonctionnement technique et financier des systèmes d’approvisionnement en eau dans les pays du Sud. Cependant, les expériences nous ont appris que proposer simplement des « outils » n’est pas une solution à la gestion durable de l’eau. Pour simplifier la GA, Practica a créé un outil basé sur Excel. Cependant, mais il s’est avéré que ce n’est pas forcément facile à utiliser et cela peut prendre beaucoup de temps avant que opérateurs locaux et les comités d’utilisateurs l’emploient efficacement.

La proposition d’approche de l’Alliance Internationale WASH

Dans le cadre du programme WASH SDG, sont développés un ensemble d’outils « open source » basés sur des processus de conception itératifs et centrés sur l’utilisateur. Le développement des outils est dirigé par SmartTech, une société basée au Népal. Pour s’assurer que tous les besoins des utilisateurs soient pris en compte, beaucoup de temps a été investi pour engager activement les parties prenantes locales. Comités d’usagers, utilisateurs, entrepreneurs, et organismes de régulation tels que les gouvernements (locaux) ont participé à la conception, au prototypage et aux tests sur le terrain.

« Ce qui m’a le plus frappé, c’est le haut niveau de collaboration que les parties prenantes ont atteint avec le soutien de l’Alliance Internationale WASH ». – Serish Dhital, chef de projet chez Smart Tech.

Il ajoute : « L’équipe de conception doit consacrer suffisamment de temps à comprendre qui sont les utilisateurs, quels sont leurs besoins, leurs priorités et leurs contraintes. Au final, cela se traduit par le développement d’un outil simple, et que les gens veulent vraiment utiliser car il leur facilite la vie et présente des avantages évidents tels que le gain de temps et de rentabilité. »

 « Outils » de gestion d’actifs
  1. Outil « e-learning »

Pour guider l’application de la GA, il est important que toutes les personnes impliquées en aient une bonne compréhension. Une composante de renforcement des capacités a été intégrée dans la boîte à outils de GA. L’e-learning est un outil interactif, basé sur Moodle (une plate-forme open source). Le processus d’apprentissage a été séparé en 3 modules, chacun visant des groupes cibles différents. Le premier s’adresse aux membres des comités d’usagers de l’eau, représentants des gouvernements locaux. Ici, l’outil traite des bases et décrit pourquoi la mise en œuvre de la GA est essentielle.

Le deuxième groupe cible comprend les opérateurs des systèmes et le personnel de terrain des ONG. Les sujets abordés sont plus techniques et pratiques, y compris la mise en œuvre et le suivi d’un plan de GA dans un cadre réel. Le troisième module s’adresse aux professionnels du gouvernement, ONG et entreprises privées. L’objectif principal est de traduire les connaissances acquises dans les deux premiers modules en une stratégie et un plan de GA solide. Il comprend une section pour analyser différents scénarios de coûts et de tarifs.

2. Application Android

Une application est en cours de développement. Sur la base des besoins identifiés, l’application devrait inclure :

  1. Un livre de caisse numérique avec les revenus et dépenses par mois.
  2. Les activités de maintenance par actif réparties en trois catégories : préventive, inspectrice et réactive, et la possibilité d’inclure les journaux de maintenance.
  3. Surveillance du service pour vérifier le niveau fourni en termes de quantité et de qualité de l’eau.

3. Tableau de bord

Le tableau de bord sur le Web permettra de surveiller la maintenance, les finances et de planifier les activités de service. Les fonctionnalités envisagées incluent :

  1. Visualisation des données financières : revenus et dépenses annuels, actuels et attendus, et un livre de caisse avec les flux monétaires.
  2. Maintenance : comprend une visualisation détaillée des coûts d’exploitation et de maintenance, avec une répartition en coûts de matériel, de remplacement et de main-d’œuvre. Et une évaluation des risques pour les actifs des systèmes.
  3. Surveillance du niveau de service : comprend les volumes d’eau fournis par mois, la qualité de l’eau, et la possibilité de vérifier si cela correspond au volume d’eau vendue. Ainsi l’eau non facturée peut être comptabilisée.

Dans le dernier article de cette série de blogs, la feuille de route pour la mise en œuvre, le partage, la promotion et la mise à l’échelle des outils sera présentée.

Merci à Serish Dhital, chef de projet chez SmartTech. Ce document a été développé par la Fondation Practica en tant que membre de l’Alliance Internationale WASH, partenaire du WASH SDG Consortium. info@practica.org / www.practica.org. Credit photo: CIUD, Nepal.

¿Solo otra herramienta? Por que es necesario involucrar el conocimiento local y enfocarse en las necesidades del usuario para mantener el agua fluyendo

Esta entrada fue realizada por PRACTICA Foundation como miembro de la RWSN.

La propuesta de valor de la Alianza WASH internacional para el desarrollo de herramientas enfocadas en el manejo sostenible de los sistemas de agua en el medio rural.

En publicaciones anteriores se presento el por qué el Manejo de Activos (MA) es una oportunidad mejorar la operación técnica y financiera de los sistemas de agua de los países en desarrollo. Sin embargo, la experiencia ha demostrado que las ‘herramientas’ por si solas no son suficientes para solucionar los problemas que aquejan el recurso agua en las zonas rurales. Desde 1980, diferentes herramientas sobre el MA han estado disponibles, pero resultan ser softwares complejos y que requieren una gran cantidad de datos para poder operar. Para facilitar este proceso, la Fundación Practica creó una herramienta basada en Excel. Tras su implementación se volvió claro que Excel se puede convertir en una herramienta complicada y que requiere mucho tiempo y esfuerzo para ser puesta en operación por los organismos operadores de agua locales.

La propuesta de valor de la Alianza WASH Internacional

Dicho lo anterior, la Alianza WASH Internacional auspiciada por el consorcio WASH SDG esta trabajando en el desarrollo de herramientas de código abierto, enfocadas en facilitar la experiencia del usuario. La compañía de software basada en Nepal y encargada del desarrollo de la herramienta es SmartTech.

Para satisfacer las necesidades de todos los usuarios, se ha invertido el tiempo suficiente en tener discusiones con los diferentes actores que resultan involucrados en el uso de la herramienta. Entre ellos se incluye comités locales de agua, hombres y mujeres emprendedores, y organismos reguladores de gobiernos locales. El proceso engloba el diseño, prototipado y pruebas de campo.

Lo que mas me llamó la atención, es el alto nivel de colaboración que existe entre los diferentes actores, todo esto dirigido por la Alianza WASH Internacional’. – Serish Dhital, Líder de Proyecto en  Smart Tech.

Serish menciona, ‘los encargados de diseñar el software deben destinar mas tiempo a entender quienes van a ser los usuarios, cuales son sus necesidades y sus prioridades especificas. Esto va a resultar en el desarrollo de herramientas realmente útiles para los usuarios.

Herramientas para el Manejo de Activos
  1. Herramienta de aprendizaje online

Para comenzar el desarrollo de las herramientas de MA es importante que los conceptos básicos sean básicos entre todos los involucrados. Para lo cual el componente de capacitación ha sido integrado en la introducción de las herramientas para MA. La herramienta se esta desarrollando en una plataforma de acceso libre (Moodle). Separada en 3 módulos cada uno con enfoques diferentes. El primer modulo se enfoca en los miembros de los comités locales de agua, y representantes locales. Los temas que se abordan son el por qué y los conceptos básicos del MA para los sistemas de agua.   

El segundo grupo incluye los gerentes de los sistemas de agua y personal de campo de ONG locales. Enfocándose en la implementación y el monitoreo de un plan de MA en la vida real. Finalmente, el tercer modulo se enfoca en educar a personal del gobierno y de primer nivel de ONG, y empresas privadas. Aquí los temas incluyen el desarrollo de un plan solido para el manejo de activos. Incluyendo un análisis multivariado con diferentes tarifas y niveles de servicio.

2. Aplicación Android

La aplicación se encuentra en proceso de desarrollo. Basada en las necesidades que han sido identificadas puede incluir:

  1. Un monedero digital que muestre entradas y salidas de dinero por mes.
  2. Monitoreo de las actividades de mantenimiento dividido en tres categorías: preventivo, de inspección y de reacción. Incluyendo un cuadro de control.
  3. Monitoreo de la calidad del servicio provisto por el sistema a los usuarios.  

3. Panel de Control

El panel de control online permite monitorear las actividades de mantenimiento, financieras y planear las actividades a futuro que permitan mantener el nivel de servicio que se ha acordado.

Entre las principales funciones del panel de control se incluyen:

  1. Visualización de datos financieros: Incluye los ingresos esperados y los reales por año, así como el flujo de dinero real anual.
  2. Mantenimiento: Incluye los detalles de los costos de mantenimiento-, desglosándolos en materiales, mano de obra y herramientas. Incluye también el análisis de riesgo para los componentes del sistema de agua.
  3. Monitoreo del nivel de servicio: Incluye un análisis de los volúmenes y la calidad del agua proporcionada cada mes. Así como el volumen de agua que se ha cobrado, esto para contabilizar las fugas de agua y dinero.

En la siguiente y ultima publicación de este blog, se presentará el proceso que se ha seguido para la implementación, desarrollo y puesta en marcha de las herramientas que se han presentado.

Se hace un agradecimiento especial a Serish Dhital, líder de proyecto en SmartTech. Este documento fue desarrollado por la Fundación Practica como miembro de la Alianza WASH Internacional, parte de el consorcio WASH SDG. Para mas información por favor contactar info@practica.org o visita www.practica.org. Foto: CIUD Nepal.