Water, Spillovers and Free Riding: the economics of pump functionality in Tanzania

by Rossa O’Keeffe-O’Donovan, Economics PhD Candidate, University of Pennsylvania.

Which factors predict the functionality of hand pumps? Do communities free ride on their neighbors’ water sources? Are there positive spillover effects in the maintenance of nearby pumps? And what does this all mean for practitioners? This post gives an overview of my ongoing Economics PhD research, which tries to answer these questions.

Note: this research is still in progress, and I am seeking survey responses to complement my quantitative work, and help understand and interpret my results. If you have knowledge of how decisions are made in the installation and/or maintenance of hand pumps, please take this 8 minute survey here: bit.ly/PumpSurvey

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Sharing water point data is easier than ever using the new Water Point Data Exchange #WPDx platform

guest blog by Brian Banks, GWC

Over the past decade, a dramatic shift has taken place in the water sector that fundamentally changes the way that work is done. During this time, water point mapping around the world has accelerated at unprecedented rates. Dropping costs of technology and innovative software has enabled national governments, as well as funders, NGOs, academics, and others to inventory, share, and even monitor the work they have contributed to.

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It all starts with knowing!

Dear Members,

There is a lot of attention for monitoring, and rightfully so. New Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have opened great possibilities to collect data, store data and visualise data on mobile phones. Maybe some of you already have used mobile phones for data collection. New ICT has brought national scale sector monitoring within reach. It has been done in Liberia, countries in Central America, Ghana, Nigeria, Mali, Ethiopia and many others.

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Sharing is Caring: The Emerging Framework for Sharing Water Point Data

Webinar – February 5, 2015 – 11:00am  EST

On behalf of the Water Point Data Exchange, we invite you to join a one hour webinar on Thursday, February 5 at 11:00am EST. This webinar will provide an exciting update on sector-wide efforts to support  the sharing of water point data across diverse stakeholders.

This webinar will provide an exciting update on sector-wide efforts to support the sharing of water point data across diverse stakeholders. Harmonizing this data has the potential to provide unprecedented opportunities for learning from the past and managing water services well into the future.

Starting with a background on the objectives of this initiative, the webinar will also provide an update on the progress made to date and the next steps in the development of the Water Point Data Exchange. Participants will be introduced to the current draft standard and also learn how they can to help shape the standard as this work moves forward.

 Click here to register.

 

Brian Banks

Director of Strategic Initiatives

Global Environment & Technology Foundation

2900 S. Quincy Street, Suite 375

Arlington, VA 22206

Phone: (703) 379-2713

Email: Brian.Banks@getf.org

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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Sustainable water services take ‘Water & Health’ Conference by storm

Dr Grace Oluwasanya, Federal University of Agriculture, Nigeria presenting on “Water User’s Perception to Health Impacts: Implications for Self Supply Water Safety Plans”

I was lucky enough to attend this year’s Water & Health Conference at the University of North Carolina. I was even luckier to make it as the skirts of Hurricane Sandy swept up the Atlantic coast before crashing into the American North East.

It was a great opportunity to meet, face-to-face, many RWSN members who have been communicating with online and meet a whole bunch of new people. It was really inspiring to hear their stories and find out more about their organisations and research. Here are just some of my highlights from the event:
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Experimenting with water service delivery

water services that last

By Patrick Moriarty

Coming up with a convincing elevator pitch for our Sustainable Services at Scale (Triple-S) project has long been a challenge.  Which, given the complexities of the rural water sector itself, is possibly not that surprising.  Whether defining ourselves (at least in part) as a complexity informed water services development lab will help, remains to be seen – but for us it is progress!

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Why physical unique identifiers on water points will improve sustainable services

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.
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