Global Water Challenge Announces the Development of WHdx – an Open Data Exchange to Improve WASH in Healthcare Facilities

Global Water Challenge and the Water Point Data Exchange (WPdx) are excited to announce the launch of the development of a water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) in health care facilities data exchange platform. Please see the press release for additional details.

The new platform will be a critical resource for governments, NGOs, and companies to close the gap of 1 in 4 healthcare facilities without basic water services. The platform will be developed in partnership the Millennium Water Alliance and funding from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. The WASH Health Facility Data Exchange (WHdx)
platform will support decision makers to improve health services through optimized water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) investments.

According to WHO/UNICEF 2020, globally, 1 in 4 healthcare facilities lack basic water services, impacting more than 1.8 billion people – worsened by large gaps in sanitation, hygiene, and waste management services. As a result, healthcare providers are unable to provide quality patient healthcare and put themselves at risk of infection, a reality further intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the often-limited resources available, health and WASH leaders must prioritize which facilities receive improvements even when they lack a clear understanding of the gaps.

WHdx will harmonize healthcare facility WASH data into a singular, publicly available dataset through the establishment of a data standard, providing unique data analysis and decision-making tools for both the water and health sectors. Furthermore, WHdx will be able to provide WASH service records from individual health facilities over time and compare health facilities across geographies from village to country-levels, showing locations of greatest need, problematic issues, and recommendations for highest impact interventions.

Building on the Water Point Data Exchange (WPdx), the world’s largest rural water open data platform with 600,000 water point records from over 80 organizations across more than 50 countries, development of the WHdx platform is a collaboration between WASH and health sector experts to ensure that consistent, user-friendly data is readily available for evidence-based decisions.

The WHdx platform will be guided by a working group including Catholic Relief Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Emory University, Helvetas, the Safe Water and AIDS Project (SWAP), Millennium Water Alliance, and Global Water Challenge. The process of selecting standard parameters for the platform is currently underway.




WPdx Launches New Rehabilitation Priority Tool

In an ongoing effort to support improved rural water access investment decision-making, WPdx  announces the launch of its updated Rehabilitation Priority Tool which enables users to immediately identify specific water points for prioritized rehabilitation or repair based on population.

The input for this updated analytical tool is the new WPdx+ dataset, a further enhanced and refined version of the original WPdx dataset (WPdx-Basic) which includes additional data cleaning and processing steps for more robust analysis.

Rehabilitation Priority Tool Overview:

  • A series of geospatial population-based analyses to prioritize water points based on potential impact.
  • Additional parameters to consider when prioritizing areas for rehabilitation, including:
    • Population within 1km – Total population within 1km of the water point
    • Users who would gain access – Estimated number of people who would gain access if a currently non-functional water point was rehabilitated. Population assigned to water point considers the existence of functional water points within a 1km radius. Populations are assigned based on relative distance between each population grid cell and the water points.
    • Likely current users – Estimated number of people who could be currently using a working water point. Population assigned to water point considers the existence of functional water points within a 1km radius. Populations are assigned based on relative distance between each population grid cell and the water points.
    • Crucialness score (0-100%) is the ratio of potential users to the total local population within a 1km radius of the water point. Crucialness provides a measure of water system redundancy. For example, if there is only 1 water point within a 1km radius, the water point crucialness score is 100%, meaning that there are no nearby alternatives. If there are two functional water points within 1km, the crucialness score for each point will be ~50% indicating there is some redundancy in the system, so if one water point is broken down, users have an alternative water point available. For non-functional water points, the crucialness score shows how important the water point would be if it were to be rehabilitated. See example here.
    • Pressure score (0-100%) is calculated based on the ratio of the number of people assigned to that water point over the theoretical maximum population which can be served based on the technology. If a point is serving less than the recommended maximum, the pressure score will be less than 100% (i.e., 250/500 = 0.5). If a point is serving more than the recommended maximum, the pressure score will be over 100% (i.e., 750/500 = 150%). The following recommended maximum values (extended from Sphere Guidelines) are currently in use:
      • 250 people per tap [tapstand, kiosk, rainwater catchment]
      • 500 people per hand pump [all hand pumps]
      • 400 people per open hand well [rope and bucket]
      • 1,000 people per mechanized well

Quick peak:

6 key tool features and options:


1. Users can filter based on country and administrative division name down to the administrative division 3 (adm3) level.



2. Users can filter water points by source (borehole, shallow well, spring, etc.), technology (handpump, mechanized pump, etc.) and management (community management, direct government operations, etc.)

3. The Top Water Points table shows the top 15 water points which would be recommended for priority consideration.

  • The default setting will show priority based on number of ‘Served Pop.’
  • For working water points, ‘Served Pop.’ represents ‘Likely Current Users’ and for non-functional points, ‘Served Pop.’ represents ‘Potential users who could regain access’.
  • Users can also click on ‘Population within 1km’, ‘Crucialness’ or ‘Pressure’ and the table will be updated to show the priority for each of these parameters.
  • Users can select to show/hide functional points and points in urban areas, and the table will update to reflect these choices.



4.  Users can select options to show/hide different layers, including functional points, population data and roads/buildings. Key options available in top selection bar, with additional options in Settings.



5. The Legend describes the different visualizations possible through various Settings selections.



 6. Users can download the full table of results by selecting ‘Download Data’.

  • If you have filtered to a specific location, all data in that administrative area will be included in the download.
  • If you have zoomed in to a sub-area of interest, the download will include all visible data or all filtered data.

Please feel free to ask questions and provide feedback on the new tool.