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About the Research

This research titled 'Assessment of Incentivising Community Engagement in Drinking Water Supply Monitoring' is being conducted in the Eastern Cape for the Water Research Commission (WRC) South Africa. The team is currently researching in three local municipalities namely Kouga Local Municipality, Kou-Kamma Local Municipality and Ndlambe Local Municipality, all located in the Cacadu District of the Eastern Cape. 

This research aims at contributing to understanding our ability to engage rural communities as key stakeholders in water supply management and also provide evidence for the use and usefulness of ICTs in rural community engagement in the WASH sector. This research project speaks to the WRC outcome of “empowerment of communities” by investigating if and how ICTs can provide a new channel for communities to have a voice in local governance. By developing an ICT tool that can be used anonymously to report problems the research expects that communities feel more empowered to raise concerns and report faults of water supplies. The results of the research will also have an impact on “informing policy and decision making” outcome of the WRC.

The research has the following project objectives

1. Identify success and failures of incentivising community engagement through literature study.
2. Develop a detailed research methodology based on findings of study.
3. Analyse and assess current community engagement of three research communities in water
supply monitoring.
4. Identify in collaboration with the community and the municipality incentives for reporting
supply problems.
5. Develop and implement a cellphone tool as well as incentive structures and observe for 6 months
6. Identify enablers and barriers to the use of ICTs and incentives to engage communities in supply