Monitoring activities underpin the success of rural water supply services. Information resulting from mapping and monitoring practices provides the evidence for management decisions, such as planning the rehabilitation and equitable extension of services together with post-construction support.

Water point mapping initiatives, led by NGOs and governments, have developed and evolved substantially over the last few years. Much attention has been given to the tools for collecting and analysing information on the distribution and status of water points. Less attention has been given to embedding the processes required to sustain the monitoring systems.

Actual mapping efforts (and inventories) have focused on improved community sources, with practically no emphasis on traditional sources, or those that lack services. Once inventories or maps have been prepared, there is relatively little evidence of how this information is used, such as for planning and allocation of resources. Further, the data is often not updated or used as a basis for systematic monitoring water supply services.

The online community enables members to discuss technical, policy and management issues around water point mapping, monitoring and reporting. Members share data, analysis, insight and knowledge from mapping activities including the indicators, approaches, methodologies, technologies, and mechanisms for sustaining inventories. The group works towards making data available and accessible to all stakeholders, developing the environment where data can be used to inform resource allocation and planning decisions, and monitoring the improvements in equitable and sustained access to rural water supply.

This community has enabled exchange regarding:

  • Information & communication technologies for mapping and monitoring
  • Indicators for water point mapping as well as monitoring
  • Availability & accessibility of reliable data

Within the community, the discussion is dominated by the NGOs who are developing and using various water point mapping and monitoring techniques. Voices from government, both local and national are relatively few and far between.

The questions that RWSN takes forward into this strategy are:

  1. How is water point mapping data being used at local and national levels?
  2. How does the information from water point mapping efforts lead more sustainable and equitable water supply services?
  3. Should national inventories and databases be updated, and if so, how?

In 2022, "Mapping and Monitoring" was renamed "Data for Action" to better reflect what the Theme is about. 

To find out more and to get involved join the Data for Action Community on dgroups.

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