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ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2017, 6(9), 266; doi:10.3390/ijgi6090266

Tensions in Rural Water Governance: The Elusive Functioning of Rural Water Points in Tanzania

1
Department of Political Science and Public Administration, University of Dar es Salaam, P.O. Box 35042, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
2
Department of Urban and Regional Planning and Geo-information Management (ITC), University of Twente, Enschede 7500 AE, The Netherlands
3
Department of Informatics and Computer Sciences, University of Dar es Salaam, P.O. Box 35091, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
4
Faculty of Behavioral Management and Social Sciences, University of Twente, Enschede 7522 NB, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 July 2017 / Revised: 11 August 2017 / Accepted: 21 August 2017 / Published: 25 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Geo-Information Tools for Governance)
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Abstract

Public water services are still failing rural Tanzanians. Emboldened by advances in information communication technologies, the Ministry of Water has been developing computing, financial and administrative technologies to update and visualise the status of rural water points. This amalgam of technologies marks the emergence of an information infrastructure for rural water governance. The information infrastructure will enable the ministry to “see” the functionality status of all rural water points and to plan and budget for their repair and maintenance. In this paper, we examine three administrative technologies, which aim to standardise the functionality status of water points, and to prescribe how the information flows within the government hierarchy, and who is a legitimate recipient of this information. We analyze qualitative data, collected over a period of four years, in the framework of an interdisciplinary research program, funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research—Science for Global Development (NWO-Wotro). In contrast to other researchers who study how information infrastructure evolves over time, we study what infrastructure evolution reveals about water governance. Our analysis of the practices of participants in rural water governance reveals tensions between formal and informal processes, which affect rural water services negatively. View Full-Text
Keywords: rural water governance; water points; functionality; information communication technologies (ICTs); administrative technologies rural water governance; water points; functionality; information communication technologies (ICTs); administrative technologies
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Katomero, J.; Georgiadou, Y.; Lungo, J.; Hoppe, R. Tensions in Rural Water Governance: The Elusive Functioning of Rural Water Points in Tanzania. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2017, 6, 266.

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