One program from Mercy Corps, called R W Siaga
Plus+, installed latrines and hand washing stations at a number of sites across greater Jakarta.
It also included an extensive behavior-change
campaign to encourage the use of the latrines
and to improve hand washing practices. The
initiative, as we will discuss later, proved to be
quite successful on several fronts.
RW Siaga Plus+ was formed around an existing
Ministry of Health program, RW Siaga, which was a
comprehensive community-based health program
focused on developing the capacity of communities to prevent and respond to health problems,
disasters and emergencies. RW Siaga Plus+ was
designed to integrate access to water and sanitation infrastructure into this foundational program.
The program was also designed to work
toward one of Mercy Corps Indonesia’s key objec-
tives: creating healthy physical environments in
poor urban settlements by increasing access
to clean water supplies and improved sanita-
tion. The aim was to reduce the incidence
of malnutrition within those communities,
five, by reducing the risk of infectious disease
through improved water and sanitation condi-
tions, and hygiene and nutrition behaviors.
Two studies of RW Siaga Plus+’s effectiveness
incorporated two sets of field data: Traditional
survey-intensive evaluation methods—including
household surveys conducted by program staff
as part of their monitoring and evaluation
processes—and remote monitoring using special
low-cost, low-power sensors.
In 2010, brightly colored latrines began popping up in and around Jakarta, Indonesia. The latrines were perhaps the most visible sign of global relief and development agency, Mercy Corps and its recent efforts to conduct a water, sanitation and hygiene program in the area. ¶ In Jakarta, as in much of the world, clean water is a luxury, and many of its 10 million inhabitants do
without. As a result, diarrhea is a major cause of child malnutrition and mortality
in greater Jakarta. Clearly, access to a healthy water supply and sanitation services
is a critical step toward preventing diarrhea and other diseases.
methods sometimes have
overestimated adoption rates.
EVAN THOMAS is an Assistant
Professor and Director of the SWEET
Lab, and a Faculty Fellow in the
Institute for Sustainable Solutions at
Portland State University. He is Chief
Operating Officer of DelAgua Health.
KAY MAT TSON is an international
consultant. Her work includes
formative research/assessments and
evaluation of public health and water,
sanitation and hygiene programs.
THE OBJECTIVES OF THIS CASE
STUDY WERE TO:
• Compare and contrast the findings from
two complementary approaches to field
evaluations of a water, sanitation and
hygiene program in greater Jakarta.
• Highlight the complementary nature
of monitoring instrumentation and
traditional survey methods.
• Assess how instrumentation might provide
important program feedback not normally
available with traditional survey tools.
• Assess the potential impact of sensor-acquired data on traditional survey tools.
Heads 0 1 Field surveys, the longstanding tool for evaluating the success of a development project, can be prone to biases. Can the use of specially installed remote-monitoring sensors
be a tool for gathering more data?