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Published on: 25/06/2013


The Sunyani District has embarked on a second round of data collection on functionality and service levels. As part of this activity, a training session for enumerators who will collect data has been held in Sunyani, the Brong Ahafo regional capital.  

This forms part of preparations for a second round of data collection for the Brong Ahafo region to monitor functionality of water facilities in the Sunyani West District, one of the focal districts of the Triple-S project in Ghana.


Triple-S (Sustainable Services at Scale) is a six-year, multi-country learning initiative to improve water supply to the rural poor. It is led by IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre.

The initiative is currently operating in Ghana and Uganda. Lessons learned from work in countries feeds up to the international level where Triple-S is promoting a re-appraisal of how development assistance to the rural water supply sector is designed and implemented.

Triple-S is hosted in Ghana by the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA), the governmental institution responsible for the provision of safe water and water related sanitation services to rural communities and small towns throughout Ghana. 

CWSA and Triple-S, between November 2011 and January 2012 undertook data collection on functionality of systems and service levels in the Sunyani West district and two other focus districts (East Gonja and Akatsi). The result of the survey formed the baseline for tracking progress in water service provision over time. It also stimulated discussion around policies, guidelines and practices in the rural water sector and has started informing planning and policy decisions in the pilot districts.

The Training

A total of 14 participants drawn from the Planning Unit, Environmental Health and Sanitation Unit, Works Department, District Water and Sanitation Team as well as the Community Development department of the District Assembly were trained for data collection.

A cross-section of enumerators being trained on the use of FLOW for data collection


Participants were introduced to the concept of service monitoring, its relevance to the Ghanaian rural water delivery context, emerging issues from the baseline data collected and the next steps. Participants were also taken through the rudiments of Field Level Operations Watch (FLOW) for data collection, navigation using waypoints on the phone and general phone management (conservation of battery power and data transmission at the end of a survey). 

Some key staff of the District Assembly, who were not part of the enumerators were also trained. The intention was to   build their capacities   to help them understand and appreciate the works of the Triple-S project in the district to enable the sustenance of the process after the project ends.

Participants were put in groups of two and a handset per each group. They were taken through survey activities including how to: add piped scheme, add piped scheme source, update standpipe, update piped scheme, update pipe scheme source, Handpump Water and Saitation Management Teams (WSMT), Water and Sanitation Development Boards (WSDB) Piped Scheme WSMT, Add handpump and update handpump. 

The field work

 The  fieldwork was used to test participants’ understanding of the actual data collection processes and the use of the smart phones. The field work also allowed the survey questionnaire to be pre-tested and subsequently revised.   

Participants were provided with a print out of existing location of water points in the various communities in the district, the description and the instance ID to facilitate quick identification of facilities mapped in the 2011 baseline survey.  The team and the participants visited the Odumasi community for the mock exercise. 

Enumerators undertaking field exercise to try their hands on the use of FLOW tools


The survey on service monitoring was divided into two clusters: a survey for existing systems and management teams, surveys for new systems and management teams constituted after the baseline data collection. The first group focused on the first two clusters of surveys.


A few challenges were encountered during the course of the training and field work.  Below are a few:

  • Some surveys could not be transmitted to the dashboard after being uploaded. This was due partly to the volume of data collected and poor internet connectivity.
  •  Difficulty of some team members submitting their data to the dashboard. It was because their handset could not automatically configure the internet settings. This had to be taken to a mobile service provider for re-configuration.
  • There were inconsistencies on who manages systems in some communities. For instance, enumerators were told in one community that there was no management team for the system but some community members also said the system was managed by Ghana Urban Water Company Limited (GUWCL). It was also observed that vendors were indifferent with the level of service and management received from GUWCL.
  • In the field it was observed that quite a good number of existing facilities and systems were not mapped during the baseline survey in 2011.


The second round of data collection is expected to build on the first round baseline study. Findings from the baseline study informed some decisions and remedial measures put in place at the district level to improve sustainable water services. The results of this second round study will give indication whether the remedial measures and actions have yielded any positive impact in sustainable water service delivery.

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