From Local Monitoring to Global Equity: Development and Evaluation of a Monitoring Tool to Measure Access to Water and Sanitation in Rural Panama

Investigator: Magi Gabra, MS
Sponsor: Global Health Sciences Education

Location(s): Panama


The Panamanian Ministry of Health (MINSA) lacks information on water and sanitation conditions in rural communities. This information is crucial for identifying current barriers to access and planning future initiatives to protect the human right to clean potable water and sanitation. Panama has recently adopted a World Bank Rural Water and Sanitation Information System (SIASAR) mobile phone application (App) for collecting data. However, the SIASAR App only focuses on technical aspects of performance, such as infrastructure classifications, coverage data, and performance of the service provider. Therefore, MINSA still lacks a tool to capture other imperative access criteria to the human right to water and sanitation, such as availability, affordability, safety and dignity. In this study we developed and evaluated the feasibility and usability of an App administered survey to comprehensively measure access to water and sanitation.

Mentor: Charlotte Smith, PhD