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A web-based Customer Account Management portal for an urban water utility in Uganda
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering.
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The Kampala Water Supply Service Area (KWSSA) is one of twenty-two urban centres managed by theNational Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC), a public utility owned by the Government of Uganda. Owing to the size of the city and the scope of operations, management of KWSSA is decentralized to eleven administrative units referred to as Branches, which in turn are further subdivided into smaller geographical units, called Territories.

“Territorial Management”, a concept practiced within KWSSA, involves sub-division of the area ofoperation of a utility into geographical units small enough for a designated individual, the TerritorialManager (TM), to gain a personal knowledge of, and greater contact with, the customers within hisjurisdiction. This closer focus should, in principle, enable the TM to better control aspects of water sales and revenue collection within his territory, and at the same time make him more directly accountable forits performance relative to that of the company as a whole. Proper territorial management should act bothas an incentive for competition amongst territories (leading to global performance gains) and a basis forreward of exceptional achievers.

This paper describes the establishment of a web portal providing an integration framework for various GIS tools and services designed to support territorial customer account management within KWSSA. Inthe paper, a geodatabase has been established for a selected “Model Branch”, and a set of prototype webmappingapplications designed and implemented. These tools provide functionality for tracking the connection status of individual customers, their consumption and payment histories, as well as complaints received from the customers. The various tools have been brought together within a single vertical webportal, which also provides links to other kinds of information as well as customized content aggregations(mash-ups) relating to the organization.

Keyword [en]
Web portal, Geographic Information Systems, Urban water utility management, Web mapping application, Spatial Decision Support Systems
National Category
Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-11920OAI: diva2:289765
QC 20100723Available from: 2010-01-25 Created: 2010-01-25 Last updated: 2010-07-23Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Water supply management in an urban utility: A prototype decision support framework
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Water supply management in an urban utility: A prototype decision support framework
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this study, four real-life problem situations were used to explore the challenges of developing and implementing decision support tools for planning and management within an urban water utility. The study sought to explore how the degree of adoption of formal decision support tools in practice, generally perceived to be low, could be improved. In the study, an Action Research (AR) approach was used. AR is an inquiry process that involves partnership between researchers and practitioners for the purpose of addressing a real-life problem issue, while simultaneously generating scientific knowledge. Unlike other research methods where the researcher seeks to study organizational phenomena but not to change them, the action researcher attempts to create organizational change and simultaneously to study the process.

During the study, a number of prototype data management tools were developed. GIS-based spatial analysis and visualisation tools were extensively used to inform and enhance the processes of participatory problem identification and structuring, while a number of modelling tools were applied in the generation and evaluation of alternative solutions. As an outcome of the study, a prototype framework for the application of decision support tools within an urban water supply planning and management context was proposed.

The study highlighted the challenges of embedding formal decision support processes within existing work systems in organizations, and recommendations were made on how best to achieve this. The AR approach was found to be useful in bridging the gap between academic research and technological practice, supporting the development of computerised planning and decision support tools of practical benefit to organizations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2009. x, 45 p.
Trita-LWR. PHD, ISSN 1650-8602 ; 1054
Decision support systems; Geographic information systems; Participatory planning; Urban water supply management; Decision support framework; Action research
National Category
Water Engineering
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-11900 (URN)978-91-7415-543-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-02-05, Conference Room, Department of Food Science and Technology, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda, 10:00 (English)
QC 20100723Available from: 2010-01-25 Created: 2010-01-21 Last updated: 2010-07-23Bibliographically approved

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