Predictors of non-functionality for community-managed handpumps: a simple summary of Foster’s analysis

Great summary

Improve International

By Susan Davis, Executive Director

This is a summary of a useful study by Tim Foster.  It was actually titled “Predictors of Sustainability for Community-Managed Handpumps in Sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Uganda,” but as usual I find the reasons for failure useful to share.

Failed water point near Debre Zeit, Ethiopia. We were told the borehole collapsed (credit Susan Davis, July 2012) Failed water point near Debre Zeit, Ethiopia. We were told the borehole collapsed (credit Susan Davis, July 2012)

The study was published in 2013, but I’ve found that some people who are interested in this kind of rigorous analysis have not heard of it.  So I’ve summarized the findings below, in plain English. If you prefer the statistical language please see the original paper.

Where did the data come from?

  • Comprehensive water supply inventories were created by the governments of Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Uganda, with the support of development partners.
  • All three inventories were nation-wide and have technical, institutional…

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Getting the basics right

I've just returned from Liberia, where Kerstin Danert and I, together with Caesar Hall and Jenny Schmitzer are coaching, training and mentoring staff across from government agencies to prepare the first a Sector Performance Report (SPR) for Liberia. Ultimately, this this could become an annual report for the whole WASH sector across the country. It … Continue reading Getting the basics right

Where do you throw your dirt?

So I'm in Monrovia this week running a 4 day writing course for twenty staff from across a dozen ministries and government organisations who will be working together to produce the 2014 Sector Performance Report (SPR).  Today we did some fieldwork - the group split into three and each visited a community in or near … Continue reading Where do you throw your dirt?

Apples and oranges: a comparative assessment in WASH

water services that last

A few weeks ago, an interesting email discussion was held on “water point mapping” D-Group of the Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN). Part of the discussion focused on how much it costs to map or monitor all water systems in a country. Various figures were floating around in the discussion. But when looking at these in more detail, it was like comparing apples to oranges. Some of the costs mentioned had included the staff time of (local) government, others hadn’t, as they considered this to be a fixed cost; some referred only to a simple mapping of water points, others had done a more comprehensive collection of all kinds of data of the water points; some of the data were expressed in dollars per water point, others in local currency per person. So, no immediate sense could be made of the numbers. A former colleague once said: “an apple is…

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