Announcing the WPdx Monitoring, Evaluation, Adapting and Learning (MEAL) Guide

The WPdx Data Standard was created in 2015 by an expert working group and defines a set of basic parameters that should be collected when gathering water point data. The Standard was designed to accept data from a variety of formats to compile a global dataset of water point records. That said, one of the challenges in compiling data from a variety of sources is transforming the different datasets to use a uniform set of terms and categories to ensure the final dataset is consistent and analysis-ready. The Standard allows for open text responses, which means that substantial data cleaning is necessary to create a dataset that is consistently formatted for analysis. WPdx automates this cleaning process using a combination of pre-defined categories, natural language processing (NLP) and detailed reviews, but recognizes that there is the potential for error and misinterpretation. 

The purpose of a data standard is to ensure not only that the right parameters are collected, but that data is collected in a way which is consistent and comparable with data from other organizations and collection efforts. WPdx created a new Monitoring, Evaluation, Adapting, and Learning (MEAL) Guide as an annex to the WPdx User Guide to reflect recent updates to the WPdx Data Standard, which defines both the standard parameters and provides a suite of recommended responses. The WPdx platform will continue to clean and categorize data as needed, but recommends that this document and its associated parameters and responses be used by entities as the minimum required during data collection efforts.

A simple example which demonstrates the needs for this process is a potential set of entries provided under the #water_tech parameter, which describes the system being used to transport water from the source to the point of collection. A common entry for this parameter is a hand pump, and one common manufacturer of hand pumps is Afridev. Depending on the organization collecting data, datasets uploaded to WPdx to describe an Afridev hand pump might include Afridev Handpump, Afridev hand pump, HP – AfriDev, Afri Dev pump, Afri Ev, etc.

In order to make this information analysis-ready, the terms above must be translated into a consistent format. The table below provides a sample of common entries received and how they appear in the WPdx dataset. 

Table 1. Examples of how #water_tech entries are transformed to #water_tech_clean


Common entries received for Afridev Hand Pump


Amended entry on WPdx







Hand pump – Afridev


Afridev Handpump
AfriDev Handpump
Hand Pump Afridev
Aferdive pump
Afridev, Hand pump
Hand pump Afridev

Undetectable errors and discrepancies during the data cleaning process may impact the results of predictive analyses like the WPdx Decision Support Tools. If there is a collective interest in having data compiled for analysis, it is imperative to adopt standard parameters and responses across organizations. The WPdx MEAL Guide is a tool for partner organizations to reference during the design of data collection surveys or after data collection but prior to upload to the WPdx platform, so that those most familiar with the data can ensure it is interpreted accurately during the data cleaning process. 

Please review the WPdx User Guide and the MEAL Guide annex to understand the recommended standardized responses for inclusion when developing a survey for both required and optional parameters from the WPdx Data Standard.

Questions and Feedback

Please reach out to for more information.

Interested in sharing data with WPdx? Please see here for more details.

Tutorial: Applications of the WPdx Decision Support Tools

We are excited to share two new resources exploring applications of the WPdx Decision Support Tools app:

  1. A detailed written tutorial with pictures describing how to use each tool by examining a sample case in Farta, Ethiopia
  2. A slide deck tutorial explaining potential use cases for each decision support tool using an example in Kabarole, Uganda

Both resources also reference video tutorials published on the new WPdx YouTube Channel.

The WPdx Decision Support Tools interactive web app allows users to view and explore available water point data and results from the WPdx+ dataset and suite of decision-support tools, including:

  • Administrative Region Analysis
  • Rehabilitation Priority Analysis
  • Service Gap Identification Analysis
  • Data Quality Score
  • Status Prediction Analysis (BETA)

The Status Prediction Analysis is the newest tool in the WPdx Decision Support Tools suite. The tool is currently in the beta testing phase. However, it has functional predictions and our team is actively working with our partners at DataRobot to continutally improve the accuracy and reliability of these predictions.

Both tutorials provide an introduction to each of the tools in the WPdx Decision Support Tools suite through specific use case examples. Users will learn how to:

  1. Navigate each of the decision support tools.
  2. Filter to an organization or area of interest.
  3. Explore multiple use cases for each tool.
  4. Interpret the results for each tool.
  5. Export the results for external use.

Review the WPdx User Guide for information about how to use the entire WPdx platform.

Questions and Feedback

Please reach out to for more information.

Interested in sharing data with WPdx? Please see here for more details.

Liberia’s new WASH Commission believes in the importance of water point data

Last week, Bobby Whitfield, chairman and CEO of Liberia’s National Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Commission (WASH), appeared at Bloomberg’s TV show, “Commodity-In-Chief” to talk about Liberia’s water crisis. The Western African nation is laying out the roadmap to address the lack of access to clean drinking water and sanitation issues its population faces. The new WASH Commission has established four goals: manage, expand, and sustain services; increase access to environmental, sustainable water, and sanitation services; manage systems and step up monitoring; and improve sector financing.

Mr. Whitfield shared that a critical part of the new commission’s strategy to undertake these objectives and manage the country’s resources better is to collect and report accurate water point data. Additionally, he emphasized the importance of good-quality water point data to effectively execute Liberia’s monitoring and evaluation systems and promote the sustainable development of the republic. “Monitoring and evaluation, as part of the regulatory function, is very important for the government. If we want to measure what is being done by some of the NGOs and partners, or businesses in the sector, it is through a water monitoring and evaluation system that we can get that done,” shared the chairman. 

To see the full interview, visit: