Drinking water survey by Arghyam via Comat tele-centers in Karnataka

A Brief on the Drinking Water Survey by Arghyam via Comat tele-centers

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Background
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Arghyam in collaboration with Comat is launching a survey on the status of drinking water in parts of rural Karnataka. The survey is unique as it involves getting people on ground to send information (through the use of questionnaires) via IT and internet to Arghyam on a real time basis. Many times, this kind of information is unavailable. Again, information on ground situations including surveys from rural areas take a longer time to reach the decision makers. During this period, an inability by decision makers to know about the ground situation hampers in undertaking proactive solutions. The people continue to suffer as they wait for their problem to reach the administration for a reaction.

Arghyam is keenly interested in feedback and comments regarding the methodology and
usefulness of this survey, and how it may be taken to more places. Add suggestions and feedback in the comments section of this post!

    Project: Comat
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A Bangalore based social enterprise works for various rural projects across the country in areas of e-Governance, and information and communication technologies for development offer services to enable governments and businesses get closer to the rural milieu. Comat operates tele-centers in rural hubs across the country. The tele-centers are equipped with computers and internet and the rural populace uses them to gather information and collect various essential certificates. In Karnataka, Comat has 800 tele centers spread across the hoblis. Arghyam working on water related issues and being the anchor of India Water Portal decided that by utilizing the tele-centers, a large amount of ground data on water can be generated from the people (who visit the tele-centers everyday from different parts of rural Karnataka).

    Method
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To generate data on water related issues, Arghyam followed a survey procedure. For the first survey, the chosen theme is "Drinking water"(themes will change over time). Arghyam designed a simple questionnaire that will generate basic information on source, availability, storage, frequency of supply, and hygiene aspects of drinking water. The questionnaire (both in paper and html format) will be hosted on the Comat tele-centers. Visitors to the tele-centers will fill the questionnaire with the help of the tele-centre operator and their input will be transferred to Arghyam database for further output based on the information.

    Scale
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Currently, the survey will be run across rural Bangalore as a test run, and then (by mid-June) will be scaled up to all the 800 tele-centers across Karnataka.


    Timeline:
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For the first survey on drinking water, June to August (being high traffic season in tele-centers) has been tentatively scheduled.


    Output:
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During the survey period, the monsoon's presence will influence the answers that can lead to an interesting pattern. For instance as an example, it will help in understanding whether people use government installed sources for drinking water or are dependent on rain during this period. Similarly, Arghyam will correlate various aspects and generate a set of outputs. The output in the form of charts and brief analysis will be hosted in the India Water Portal. The findings will be printed and shared with the concerned authorities in the districts and at the state level. Further innovations with the output can be expected from Arghyam.

Overall, this survey will help in bridging an important gap in regards to availability of real time data from the ground on water and simultaneously, help in disseminating the information to the decision makers.


Organizations websites:

Comat:http://www.comat.com/index.html
Arghyam: http://www.arghyam.org/
Indian Water Portal: https://www.indiawaterportal.org/

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