WaterAid, Testing the Waters: how can ICTs for monitoring be strengthened and made more inclusive to achieve greater sustainability of rural water services?

2014; United Kingdom; Hivos, IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre

There is currently much excitement about the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to address the low sustainability of rural water services in sub Saharan Africa and South Asia.

This notwithstanding, there is not yet a proof of concept that such innovations are successful (i.e. demonstrating sustained use at scale that helps address scheme sustainability). The objective of this research project is to go beyond the current emphasis on finding technical solutions: to better understand and address political, economic and cultural factors affecting ICT innovations geared to improve water service sustainability monitoring.

This research project, funded by Hivos under the MakingAllVoicesCount Initiative, and administered by the Institute of Development Studies, brings together WaterAid, IRC, the Rural Water Supply Network secretariat and Itad. The research first investigates the enabling and constraining factors of ICT innovations for improving rural water supply sustainability, followed by an in-depth exploration of specific governance-related dynamics that empower water fetchers and managers – rural women, girls and boys in sub-Saharan Africa – to report and receive support to improve the sustainability of water supply services.

You can read the latest report from the project here.


This project held a webinar on 8th September 2015 which brought together the results from two recent studies: a study from the Making All Voices Count Initiative in collaboration with WaterAid, IRC, and Itad that examined the factors of success in rendering water services more sustainable through ICT reporting, and research by The Water and Sanitation Programme in collaboration with CoWater and iCOMMS, which explored the potential of ICTs in the water and sanitation sectors in Africa more widely.

You can also download the presentations from the webinar:

On 28th October 2015, another webinar was held to deliver the findings of Phase 3 of the project, where two qualitative follow-up case studies of ICT innovations in rural water supply were conducted: the Mobile Phones for Water (M4W) initiative, Kabarole district, Uganda, and the country-wide SIBS initiative in Timor Leste, with detailed studies in Liquica and Manatuto Districts.

You can also download the presentation from the webinar:


This project team has also been actively blogging throughout the evaluation:


The team has also contributed to other outreach activities:

Image © The man at the well  Photo Credit: Lamerie


For more information please contact:

Katharina Welle
T: +44 (0)1273 201276