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

Itad has been contracted by Hivos, IRC International Water & Sanitation Centre to investigate information and communication technology (ICT) innovations for improving rural water supply sustainability


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 aim of the project

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.

Contact Katharina Welle ( if you would like to discuss this project.

Image © The man at the well  Photo Credit: Lamerie


Team members