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Water For People’s Lessons, Doubts and Experience of Mapping Rural Water Supply Systems In Malawi

In the last 20 years or so, as mobile technology evolved and big data became more accessible than ever, monitoring and evaluation (M&E) has grown in prominence as a distinct discipline (Nhlema,2014). Rather than being an add-on at the end of the traditional project cycle, M&E is now a central tool, not just for assessment of achievement or progress, but also for long-term planning, resource allocation, and improvements and innovation in program design. And M&E isn’t just for data crunchers who spend their days hunched over Excel spreadsheets— everyone from graphic designers, communicators, educators, and program officers are using numbers to tell or show a story, teach a concept, or achieve strategic organizational or business goals. This paper shares Water For People’s 6 years’ worth of experience, successes, lessons and doubts around using the monitoring application, AkvoFLOW, to collect over 40000 lines of WASH data since 2010 in Malawi.

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