I've always wanted mWater to be a social network for water, sanitation, and health. This week, that effort got much stronger with a few key updates in the mWater Surveyor app.
In the old fashioned world of monitoring and evaluation, the burden of proof was placed on why data should be made public. However, with the new, porous data environment where we are all connected in the real and virtual world, the burden of proof is on why data should be kept private. At a base level, people deserve to have access to data collected about them, their communities, and their water. At an organizational and management level, we can all make faster and better progress if we work together than if we silo ourselves apart in hard drives and file cabinets.
mWater was designed to collaborate with data. We created our apps and data portal to make sharing feel easy and safe, building in three levels of privacy.
Now, sites that are Protected and Public can be shared to social media with the new Facebook and Twitter icons in each site page. This means your team can update their online friends about their progress monitoring a site. You can keep funders connected with their assets through a Facebook Groups page. Also, sites now have permanent URLs so you can post a site page to a report, an email, or a funding campaign like GoFundMe. Custom users can pay mWater to create site pages unique to their organization, with their logo and special fields like user stories and budget tracking.
These updates bring monitoring sites like water points, sanitation facilities, schools, and health clinics into the virtual world. This allows for more opportunities to collaborate with your work. Most importantly, this allows communities where these sites are an easy access point to be educated of and involved in your work.
Social sharing and site URLs were the investment of Earth Echo, which is also using these features for the World Water Monitoring Challenge. mWater powers their app and map for global surface water monitoring. Check them out!