Digitalising the Water Sector: Implications for Water Service Management and Governance

08/22/2021
by   Godfred Amankwaa, et al.
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Digital technologies are becoming central to water governance and management, yet their impact and developmental implications are under-researched, particularly in the global South. This paper addresses this knowledge gap by examining the process of water service digitalisation and the resulting effects on service providers. Drawing on qualitative methods, we apply ideas on digitalisation, value, and power to investigate the implementation and impact of digital technologies in Ghana's state water utility company. We find digital water innovations to be recent, and delivering relatively limited impacts as yet, with value mainly accruing at the utility's operational rather than strategic level. The digital technologies present avenues for power shifts and struggles internally and externally as well as some changes in water management structures and responsibilities. We end with a brief discussion on the implications for water service governance and research.

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