Investigating the potentiality of community-based mobile monitoring for household water management practices and public water services in rural Tanzania : a multi-method analysis
The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6.1) calls for "universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all by 2030". Yet, by 2020, approximately 54% of Tanzania's rural population still lacks basic drinking water services. Governance-related issues such as ineffective monitoring, weak accountability of actors and limited information sharing among actors are largely attributed to the problem. The need to address service delivery performance failures through improving sector governance and promoting the adoption of household water treatment and safe storage practices (HWTS) is crucial. Community-based monitoring (CBM) has emerged as a prominent approach to improving governance and public services. To date, however, there is a knowledge gap on the extent to which CBM can influence public water services, household behavior changes and information exchange among actors in water service. We implemented a Fuatilia Maji action research project with two parallel interventions, mobile-enhanced CBM and mobile-enhanced expert-based monitoring (EBM) and compared with an existing government monitoring system to examine the extent of information sharing among actors in the decentralized water service delivery, investigate the effect and differential effect of CBM and EBM interventions on improving water point functionality, microbial water quality and household safe water behaviors in Mvomero and Morogoro district council, Tanzania. We employ a multiphase evaluation mixed methods design with explanatory sequential design elements. We collected data using surveys, interviews, focus group discussions and documentary reviews. Multiple data analysis techniques were employed, including Social Network Analysis (SNA), differences in difference with kernel matching and generalized linear mixed model. Thematic analysis was conducted to explain the quantitative results further. This thesis reveals that there seems to be a discrepancy between theoretical and actual water-related information networks. Some actors, e.g., Village Chairpersons, seem to perform well, while others, e.g., COWSO/CBWOs and Ward Executive Officer, underperform. Information exchange is more intense among duty bearers within the governance level (i.e., district) than between the governance levels (i.e., district to village). Downwards exchange, i.e., from the higher to the lower governance level (e.g., from district to village) and between gender groups, are the major bottlenecks. Provision of personalized water quality info was more likely to influence drinking water fetching behavior (i.e., choosing improved sources) but not practising other household safe water behaviors (i.e., using effective HWTS) in both interventions; however, the differential treatment was considerably higher in the CBM than EBM intervention. Moreover, there were no statistically discernable differences between CBM and EBM in improving water point functionality and microbial water quality over time. Overall, this thesis highlights the usefulness of innovatively integrating social accountability, social capital and evaluation use and behavior change concepts/ theories when designing the theory of change (ToC) for CBM and EBM interventions, as well as evaluating why and how the intervention worked or failed. Also, it pinpoints the importance of using SNA in mapping and examining information sharing among multiple actors. The use of SNA to examine the extent of formal and informal information exchange with valued ties, the inclusion of school children as agents of WASH behavior change and the application of ethnographic data and the Most Significant Change (MSC) technique provide avenues for further research.
Antwerp : University of Antwerp , 2024
xxi, 384 p.
Supervisor: Holvoet, Nathalie [Supervisor]
Supervisor: Shitima, Christina [Supervisor]
Supervisor: Dewachter, Sara [Supervisor]
Research group
Publication type
Publications with a UAntwerp address
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Creation 23.02.2024
Last edited 24.02.2024
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