Can more data reduce poverty?

Delivering reliable drinking water to millions of rural people in Africa and Asia is an elusive and enduring global goal. A systematic information deficit on the performance and demand of infrastructure investments limits policy design and development outcomes.

Since 2012, Smart Handpumps have been installed in Kenya leading to the design of a new maintenance model Fundifix, combining sensor technology, computational informatics, institutional design, sustainable finance and policy reform. As part of the REACH ‘Building water secure institutions’ Observatory, in Kitui county, Kenya, a local maintenance company has led to reducing the downtime of broken handpumps from over 30 days to less than 3 days.

Building on the successes of the research in Kenya, Smart Handpumps are currently being installed in 200 schools in the Chandpur District with the support of the Government of Bangladesh (LGD/DPHE, DPE, DSHE) and UNICEF in order to understand water use and support the government’s coordination, investment and delivery of the Sustainable Development Goal for safely managed drinking water.

Please join us for a seminar and discussion on Wednesday 17th October to discuss recent advances in interdisciplinary science to test new models for achieving universal and reliable water services in rural Africa and Asia.