iCOMMS is conducting a study in the Eastern Cape for the Water Research Commission (WRC) South Africa. The research is titled 'Assessment of Incentivising Community Engagement in Drinking Water Supply Monitoring'. 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. The research is led by A/Prof. Ulrike Rivett from iCOMMS with Collaboration from: -
Prof. Derek Taylor and Dr. Nondumiso Maphazi from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
Prof. Jean-Paul Van Belle and Prof. Wallace Chigona from the Information System Department in University of Cape Town
Mr. David Schaub Jones from SeeSaw Cape Town.
This research aims at contributing to understanding our ability to engage rural communities as key stakeholders in water supply management and also provide scientific 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 since particularly policy implementation and decision making are often questioned in rural municipalities.