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Is silence golden? Of mobiles, monitoring, and rural water supplies

Reliable and cost-effective monitoring of rural water supply infrastructure has long been hampered by the geographical curse of dispersed and low-income populations, and weak institutional performance. Recent advances in monitoring technology combined with mobile network expansion into rural areas has created an opportunity to bypass these seemingly intractable challenges. Mobile-enhanced technologies have the potential to produce data that is orders of magnitude richer, faster, and cheaper than that provided by traditional monitoring methods, which require costly field visits. However, more data does not equate to better data; information generated by crowd-sourced and automated systems each has its respective limitations. We propose a framework for analysing monitoring and surveillance systems, which can help assess the strengths and weaknesses of different emerging approaches. We suggest that these advancements present an opportunity to fundamentally change the way we consider and conduct rural water supply monitoring.[authors abstract]

TitleIs silence golden? Of mobiles, monitoring, and rural water supplies
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsThomson, P., Hope, R.A., Foster, T.
Paginationp. 280 - 292; 1 fig.
Date Published2012-10-04
PublisherIT Publications
Place PublishedLondon, UK
Keywordsmonitoring, rural areas, rural development, rural supply systems, sustainable development, water supply
Abstract

Reliable and cost-effective monitoring of rural water supply infrastructure has long been hampered by the geographical curse of dispersed and low-income populations, and weak institutional performance. Recent advances in monitoring technology combined with mobile network expansion into rural areas has created an opportunity to bypass these seemingly intractable challenges. Mobile-enhanced technologies have the potential to produce data that is orders of magnitude richer, faster, and cheaper than that provided by traditional monitoring methods, which require costly field visits. However, more data does not equate to better data; information generated by crowd-sourced and automated systems each has its respective limitations. We propose a framework for analysing monitoring and surveillance systems, which can help assess the strengths and weaknesses of different emerging approaches. We suggest that these advancements present an opportunity to fundamentally change the way we consider and conduct rural water supply monitoring.[authors abstract]

NotesWith bibliography and list of links on p. 291 - 292
Custom 1205.2

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The copyright of the documents on this site remains with the original publishers. The documents may therefore not be redistributed commercially without the permission of the original publishers.