This report assesses how water and sanitation practitioners have begun to tap the potential of mobile phones as tools to improve water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services. Coined "mWASH" solutions, this report analyzes how mobile technology applications are already being tapped in many areas, such as health, agriculture, and disaster relief, as well as WASH. The ten case studies call out lessons critical for developing robust mWASH applications. Using SMS, email, or the web, citizens and residents can remotely report conditions such as poor water quality and sewage backflow, register lack of infrastructure to aid in network expansion, and view information on the status of service provision and problem resolution.
- A mobile phone WASH solution can fill information gaps by transforming the way data is generated, communicated, and shared since the urban and rural poor often have no way to advocate for their basic needs for water and sanitation.
- "mWASH" solutions demonstrate that gathering and analyzing data from remote regions and making the information available in a transparent way, can help identify where investments are most urgently needed, improve long-term project monitoring, and contribute to better water resources planning.
- Efforts to improve water supply, sanitation, and hygiene in the long term depend on addressing the underlying issue of inadequate governance in the WASH sector, which is exacerbated by poor information on water resources and the needs of the poor.
- Technology that innovates the ways in which data is generated can help in overcoming inadequate governance in the WASH sector, allowing for direct and real-time data generation and collection from larger numbers of people, often at little cost.