Around the world, as many as 1.8 billion people lack access to safe water. This challenge is exacerbated by failures in the water sector, resulting in high rates of non-functioning water points. In response to this challenge, governments, NGOs, donors, and individuals are increasingly collecting data on the functionality of water points around the world. Unfortunately, there is no effective way to share this data. Costly information gathered is too often used once, by one user, and then remains inaccessible on organizational servers, in dusty reports, and in proprietary monitoring systems. Not only is this one-time use of data inefficient in a sector with scarce monitoring resources, but it dramatically limits the opportunity for those addressing water challenges to learn and improve.
By facilitating a discussion throughout the global water sector, this effort will support collaborative development of a framework for sharing water point data.This approach leverages growing use of a wide range of data collection tools, including mobile apps and other approaches. In doing so, it adds value to the data collected through such tools by bringing together these diverse data sets, and others, to establish an unprecedented understanding of water point functionality. In developing a robust standard that supports regular updates, we can develop a view into sust ainability over time, which has been nearly impossible to do at scale.
Additionally, by allowing different stakeholders’ updates to provide new information about the same water points, the frequency of updates can provide more accurate real-time information than is currently available. The scale of data will also provide the opportunity for more robust sector learnings, with most studies today limited to a relatively small sample size.Further, the data produced through this effort will also serve as a distinct but valuable compliment to existing large scale data efforts, such as the Joint Monitoring Program.
This project has the potential to improve water services for millions of people as a direct result of better information available to service providers,researchers, NGOs, and others.When governments can determine the optimal way to deliver water services, NGOs can determine how best to be helpful, and donors have the in formation needed to direct funds for the highest impact, information can transform lives.
Through this pilot, nearly quarter a million water points across Africa have been aggregated and standardized. Data sources to date have included both government data and NGO data. Moving forward, we will leverage the learnings from this pilot to engage the sector in developing a collaboratively developed data exchange standard.
We are looking forward to working together on this, and welcome any questions, suggestions, or input you may have! Please contact Brian Banks with any feedback. Global Water Challenge welcomes input on how WASH DataPoint can better serve your needs.
|Total Water Points||245,553|
|Total Countries with Data||9|