Published: April 12, 2023

We present a study design and baseline results to establish the impact of interventions on peri-urban water access, security and quality in Kasai Oriental province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In standard development practice, program performance is tracked via monitoring and evaluation frameworks of varying sophistication and rigor. Monitoring and evaluation, while usually occurring nearly concurrently with program delivery, may or may not measure parameters that can identify performance with respect to the project’s overall goals. Impact evaluations, often using tightly controlled trial designs and conducted over years, challenge iterative program evolution. This study will pilot an implementation science impact evaluation approach in the areas immediately surrounding 14 water service providers, at each surveying 100 randomly-selected households and conducting water quality assessments at 25 randomly-selected households and five water points every three months. We present preliminary point-of-collection and point-of-use baseline data. This study is utilizing a variety of short- and medium-term monitoring and impact evaluation methods to provide feedback at multiple points during the intervention. Rapid feedback monitoring will assess the continuity of water services, point-of-consumption and point-of-collection microbial water quality, household water security, household measures of health status, ability and willingness to pay for water and sanitation service provision, and service performance monitoring. Long-term evaluation will focus on the use of qualitative comparative analysis whereby we will investigate the combination of factors that lead to improved water access, security and quality.

Kirsch, K.*, Nagel, C., Iribagiza, C., Ecklu, J., Akonkwa Zawadi, G., Mugaruka Ntabaza, P., Barstow, C., Lund, A., Harper, J., Carlton, E., Javernick-Will, A., Linden, K., and E. Thomas, (2023).  “Study design and baseline to evaluate water service provision among peri-urban communities in Kasai Oriental, Democratic Republic of the Congo”. PLOS One. 10.1371/journal.pone.0283019.