Document Type

Closed Project

Publication Date

Spring 2015


Timothy Anderson

Course Title

Reseach Methods

Course Number

ETM 565/665


Many global organizations and governments continue to invest billions of dollars in development projects in developing countries, with a lot of such money going into water and sanitation projects. The return on investment however is difficult to ascertain given that a lot of these projects and installations are broken down in no time after they are carried out. For example, the most prevalent mode of supplying water in rural sub-Saharan Africa is through handpumps, with about 60,000 of such handpumps installed in Africa annually. It is however estimated that a third of these handpumps are non-functional at any one time. The result is a myriad of issues including, but not limited to costs of repair, health and environmental challenges, and simply a waste of billions of invested money and resources. While methods of data capture and analysis such as occasional surveys and spot checks to ascertain levels of operation and functionality have sometimes been useful, a new school of thought which proposes the use of mobile-enabled data to capture and analyze operational performance of rural water supply projects presents an interesting dimension in global development efforts. This paper presents a literature review of some of the efforts aimed at promoting the use of mobile-enabled data to improve water availability and service delivery. The factors that have influence on the functionality and sustainability of rural water supply projects are also highlighted from the review while making a case for the use of mobile-enabled data as a more credible alternative for the sustainable management of rural water supply projects.


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