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Citizen field engineers: Crowdsourced maintenance of connected infrastructure

Smart water management that integrates information and communication technology (ICT) to monitor water resources, diagnose problems, improve efficiency and coordinate management can help to overcome water supply challenges as well as strengthen public participation in governance.

This study, performed by Ericsson Research and the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN Habitat), applies scenario planning methodology to analyze the potential of a novel smart water concept, Citizen Field Engineer, to address water challenges in Nairobi's slums, for example problems with water pollution and intermittent supply.

The concept combines multi-functional sensors to monitor water supply with an innovative ICT-based governance model where residents in the local community are employed as service engineers.

This award-winning paper was presented at the Third International Conference on ICT for Sustainability (ICT4S 2015). The study concludes that smart water management that integrates ICT is an important step to address challenges around sustainable water supply.


Fanny von Heland, Marcus Nyberg, Anna Bondesson, Ericsson Research; Pontus Westerberg, United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat).

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Published in the proceedings of the EnviroInfo & ICT4S 2015. doi:10.2991/ict4s-env-15.2015.17.

© The authors – Published by Atlantis Press.