To support the Government of Bolivia’s efforts in increasing access to safe drinking water, basic sanitation and improved hygiene (WASH) for all citizens, the Water and Environmental (WES) section of UNICEF Bolivia has focused on WASH interventions in rural communities dispersed across 56 Bolivian municipalities.
A customized information system had been developed for the WES section in December 2009 to monitor implementation of this programme, but it lacked the ability to generate attractive maps or graphs, or effectively show progress over time.
A good user-friendly fit
Enter DevInfo. Having initially learned about the DevInfo database system through a newsletter, WES section officials went through the online DevInfo e-learning courses and decided that the software would be a good user-friendly fit for their requirements. In April 2010 they proceeded to successfully migrate their existing database into DevInfo format, which immediately enabled them to generate visually appealing maps and graphs to track WASH implementation across the country.
According to Antonio Canaviri, Senior Monitoring Assistant, UNICEF Bolivia, the WES section updates its master database (housed in the section’s original information system) on a quarterly basis, based on
field reports detailing the status of various water and sanitation projects. Once this master database is updated, a subset of key indicators – primarily related to WASH coverage – are subsequently migrated into DevInfo. This DevInfo database then becomes the tool used by the section to generate maps and graphs, for inclusion in reports to local and national government officials as well as to donors.
Increased report quality, improved decision-making
“Through the use of DevInfo, our section has been able to increase the quality of our programme progress reports, as well as improve decision-making at the programme management level,” explains Koenraad Vancraeynest, UN Volunteer Water and Sanitation Officer, UNICEF Bolivia.
Continues Vancraeynest, “For example, publishing maps showing the geographical coverage of the different WES programmes facilitates planning activities. It also allows us to compare the performance of different municipalities and helps us target which ones are in need of further assistance.”
Talks are underway to eventually transfer the DevInfo-based information system to the Government of Bolivia’s Ministry of Environment and Water. Ministry officials have already been briefed on the use of DevInfo technology in supporting the effective monitoring of WASH coverage across the country.
With DevInfo in place in the WES section of UNICEF Bolivia, the country can look forward to faster progress in making the benefits of safe drinking water, basic sanitation, and improved hygiene available to all.
Data making a difference.
For more information please contact Koenraad Vancraeynest, WES section of UNICEF Bolivia, at email@example.com