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Triple-S sets up online data system for monitoring water service delivery in Uganda

posted 6 Mar 2014, 08:48 by Sekuma Peter

In a bid to enhance monitoring of rural water service delivery in Uganda, IRC/Triple-S Initiative undertook to develop a set of Service Delivery Indicators (SDIs). The process that started in 2013 has also resulted into the establishment of an online digital system where data collected on SDIs is stored, analysed and made accessible to those interested in following trends in rural water service delivery.

Measuring the performance of the Uganda Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector started in 2003 with the definition and regular review of a set of 11 Golden Indicators .  However, it was observed that while the golden indicators provide information on broader sector performance, they  do not provide in-depth insight into the whole range of factors that work together to ensure that people in the rural areas enjoy good quality uninterrupted water services.

The SDIs specifically provide deeper insight into the factors at four levels including:

  • The service delivered:  What kind of service does the water user get? Is it of adequate quantity; Is it of acceptable quality? Is it a reliable service? 
  • Users’ level: Are the water users satisfied with the service they get?
  • Service provider level: Who is working to ensure that users get the service they expect? Is it the water user committee? Is it the source caretaker?
  • Service authority level: Which authorities are involved in ensuring that users get the service that water is? How do these authorities support the processes concerning the delivery of water services? These authorities are mainly at district and sub-county level.

The SDIs are in sync with the golden indicators and also build on the existing policies.  So far, the SDIs have been tested and used in a study to assess the service delivery model for point water sources in Uganda.

Triple-S Programme Officer Valerie Bey and Research Officer Joseph Abisa explain that apart from providing more detail especially about the user satisfaction, the SDIs answer the “why” question; are relatively cheaper than the current systems and are more actionable. The SDIs also reduce the time between data collection and action, moreover with the new digital system, data is accessible online. This means that actors can easily access the latest information about water services, which in turn could inform and speed up decisions about the appropriate action to be taken.