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Using Information and Communication technology to Improve Water Governance and Cooperation
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
2013 (English)In: Cooperation for a Water Wise World – Partnerships for Sustainable Development / [ed] Jägerskog, A., Clausen, T. J., Lexén, K., Holmgren, T., Stockholm: Stockholm International Water Institute , 2013, 27-33 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The use of information and communication technology (ICT) offers an untapped potential to improve the governance of water and the provision of water services. In water supply services, which is the focus of this article, ICT is used for data collection and monitoring, simplifying water billing and metering through mobile payment, advocacy on water issues, improving transparency on sector funds, strengthening consumer voice through online platforms. Although ICT is believed to increase transparency, accountability and participation in the water sector, the evidence base to support this is limited. Through an assessment of existing ICT-enabled water projects in East Africa and an in-depth analysis of four cases, this article addresses the following questions: How can ICT be used to strengthen transparency, accountability and participation in the provision of water services over time? What are the main sector specific benefits and challenges for increased and sustainable use of ICT in the provision of water services? The benefits identified are improved service delivery, new and better data, strengthened consumer voice, reduced costs. Key sector specific challenges identified are lack of incentives to use the system, user costs, user privacy, absence of basic infrastructure, lack of responsiveness, and lack of marketing. The article concludes that: access to information and increased transparency is never an end in itself unless the information it yields is acted on; it is crucial that the responsible institution has the willingness, capacity, and the mandate to act on the information and/or on identified needs and wants of the citizens; and finally that clear incentives need to put in place so that users see a direct benefit in participating.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Stockholm International Water Institute , 2013. 27-33 p.
, SIWI proceedings: report, ISSN 1404-2134 ; 32
Keyword [en]
Mobile applications, M4D, ICT for development, ICT4D, Governance for development, Water Governance
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-96373ISBN: 978-91-978846-8-6OAI: diva2:665518
World Water Week, September 1-6, 2013, Stockholm, Sweden
Available from: 2013-11-20 Created: 2013-11-20 Last updated: 2013-12-05Bibliographically approved

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Hellström, Johan
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