Drinking-water Quality Surveillance Programme (Vigiagua): identifying gaps in policy making and program implementation on the municipal level

Ana Carolina Lanza Queiroz Laís Santos de Magalhães Cardoso Sheyla Christina Ferreira da Silva Léo Heller Sandy Cairncross About the authors

The monitoring and evaluation of Vigiagua - Brazil's drinking-water quality surveillance programme (Vigiagua) - are a potentially important source of programme improvements. Published documentation on Vigiagua refers mainly to its quantitative aspects and achievements, but we present here the results of a qualitative evaluation of the programme's functioning at municipal level, seeking to validate the methodology, identify constraints and suggest improvements. We analysed practices established by the Ministry of Health for the identification and survey of the various types of water supply, for the compilation of geographic information systems, and for the allocation of responsibilities between organisations and sectors, taking as our data the statements made during interviews by Vigiagua professional staff in one large, one small and one intermediate sized municipality. Content analysis applied to the interview transcripts brought to light persisting difficulties in registering and monitoring water supply infrastructure, failure to collect data at appropriate time intervals, lack of GPS and other equipment, and inadequate cross-sectoral coordination. The planned integration of the work of Vigiagua with the health sector's Epidemiological Surveillance is not yet functional in the three studied municipalities, being limited in practice to outbreaks. Further evaluations are necessary aiming at its improvement.

Water Surveillance; Quality; Intersectoral Action; Program evaluation; Qualitative Research


Faculdade de Saúde Pública, Universidade de São Paulo. Associação Paulista de Saúde Pública. Av. dr. Arnaldo, 715, Prédio da Biblioteca, 2º andar sala 2, 01246-904 São Paulo - SP - Brasil, Tel./Fax: +55 11 3061-7880 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil
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