Digital watsan assessment

Training of Community Health Promoters, Khor Waral camp - Sudan
Training of Community Health Workers, Pulka - Nigeria


Quantifying the amount of water provided to refugees and IDPs in emergencies, and making effective operational decisions is challenging given the disparity of data from different sources, the insufficient capacities of our teams and the lack of time available to dedicate to collecting information.


As part of MSF OCBA’s WASH roadmap, the OCBA Watsan Group, along with the Displacement Unit have tested an application for mobile data collection (mWater) to help us quantify and qualify the access to water and sanitation in a rapid and efficient way. We created a simplified survey and improved it by testing it in the field. We tested the survey in two locations: Khor Waral refugee camp (White Nile State, Sudan), where the authorities in charge of water distribution were reluctant to share information; and Pulka IDP camp (Borno State, Nigeria), where there was a concerning water table level and unclear information about the quantity of water delivered to refugees in the camp.


The assessments are carried out by trained community workers who visit households everyday. The combination of the simplified survey and the mapping ability proved useful in the reading of the situation by camp sector and reading trends in time. The team has prepared an information package for missions to adopt the digital survey and implement the assessment strategy autonomously.