This blog is by Susan Davis, executive director of Improve International, an organization focused on promoting and facilitating independent evaluations of WASH programs to help the sector improve. She has more than 13 years of experience in international development and has evaluated WASH and other programs in 16 developing countries. Her first career (8 years in environmental consulting) involved projects like combining databases across the 10 US Environmental Protection Agency Regional offices, which is where her respect for unique identifiers was born.
What is a unique identifier?
You probably don’t think of it, but you use unique identifiers every day. In the US, your social security number is your unique identifier for the government (which is why if someone has it they can steal your identity). Your bank account number helps the bank track all information associated with you.
What is a physical unique identifier?
Well, your house has one – in the form of an address. Your car has one – the vehicle identification number. The license plate might count but it is too easily removed. My dog has an identification chip embedded between her shoulder blades because her license tag could easily come off with her collar. A physical unique identifier needs to be permanent – long lasting in tough conditions, and not easily removed.
Continue reading “Why physical unique identifiers on water points will improve sustainable services”