As partners in h2.0, the International Institute for Geo-information Science and Earth Obersevation (ITC) have joined with 52 ° N and Twente Institute for Wireless and Mobile Communications (TI-WMC) to address the pertinent need for empowering communities in East Africa to effectively obtain adequate provision of water services and sanitation. This is achieved by developing a Human Sensor Web in which cell phones are integrated with Google platforms that will inform and empower communities on water services.
Information received from cell phones will be stored on servers using the Google Application Engine, to be linked, amongst others, to Google maps. The Human Sensor Web is a combination of:
1. a community of individuals who report observations through existing, widespread mobile communication technology and
2. a set of (web) services that provide means to disseminate observations made by the community and means to receive feedback to individuals, specific user groups and civil society.
The aim is to improve governance conditions in water services by providing novel, local community-based information to decision and policy makers in a focused, timely, and effective manner. The novelty is the accountability achieved through publicly available, verifiable information on the status of, and relative performance in water services management. The project aims to deliver essential information ‘up the pipe’ directly from consumer to provider and decision maker through the use of standard mobile communications, and ‘down the pipe’ to the consumer and to society in the form of community groups, political representatives and the media.