How Does Clean Water Alter Rural Community Health and School Attendance?

World Water Relief (WWR)
Decatur, Georgia
EducationData Science
Open Access
DOI: 10.18258/4876
Raised of $4,000 Goal
Funded on 7/16/15
Successfully Funded
  • $4,004
  • 100%
  • Funded
    on 7/16/15

About This Project

Clean water is often unavailable in the Dominican Republic, and while the non-profit World Water Relief (WWR) has taken measures to provide access and education to rural communities, the effects of cleaner water on school attendance and illness rates have not been quantified. To evaluate WWR's impact, I will digitize data of school attendance and clinic patient records before and after WWR, and analyze the connections between clean water and education to better inform infrastructure investment.

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What is the context of this research?

Improvements in both access to clean water and hygiene education at schools have been found to have positive effects on student attendance rates in rural and underdeveloped communities. It is no secret that clean drinking water and hand washing can do a lot to prevent illness.

What has not been properly addressed by the scientific community are:

1) The combined (possibly interactive) effect of these two interventions on school attendance as opposed to individually.

2) How or if the effect of these two interventions' on absenteeism changes after multiple years of implementation.

3) What effect these interventions have on rates of stomach illness among all members of communities with access to the clean water systems (not just students at those schools).

What is the significance of this project?

The significance of this project boils down to the quantification of the impact that infrastructural investment has on health and by extension, education. The cost of medicine and resulting lack thereof in impoverished communities makes a dollar of prevention worth hundreds of dollars of a cure. Additionally, the opportunity cost for students who miss school because of illness is far greater in communities with scarce teaching resources to account for missed school days. This study and others like it show the benefit of long term investments in infrastructure on health and education. With this knowledge, investing can be done efficiently and effectively. Arguably the most sustainable investment possible in development is one that improves the education of a community's children.

What are the goals of the project?

1. Scan 5+ years of records from 6-8 each of schools with and without WWR. This period will include years before and after WWR started working at the school.

2. Scan up to 10 years of patient records at at least 2 clinics where members of these communities would be seen.

3. will digitize the relevant information on the records and send me an electronic data set for analysis.

4. Analyze results using cluster analysis.

5. Write an impact evaluation for WWR explaining what changes in the rates of absenteeism and stomach illness can be seen among the communities they work in since they have started working there.


Please wait... is a company that specializes in the digitization of handwritten records, such as those I will find in the Dominican Republic, and offers non-profit pricing to projects that support education, environment, health and social services, open data and open government. They have agreed to offer their services to this project at the price it will cost them. This project's goal of $4000 is the cost of digitizing the amount of data I estimate getting from the school attendance records. As a stretch goal, I am aiming to raise an additional $2000 to digitize records from clinics where members of the school's communities would be seen.

I have set aside a personal budget to cover all project materials. This budget is featured in my lab notes. These are not included in the requested budget on this website, they are separate and in addition to it.

Meet the Team

Andrew Nute
Andrew Nute

Team Bio

What This Project Means for Me:

This project is a practicum experience for my Master of Public Health in Global Epidemiology with a focus on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) at Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health.

Brief History:

After graduating from the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado, I joined the Peace Corps as an HIV/AIDS Educator. After three years of living in Swaziland, I decided I wanted to get a Master's in Public Health studying infectious disease. Feel free to check out my linkedin page: Andrew Nute

For Fun:

Outside of research, my interests are professional sports, snowboarding, craft beer and small batch whiskey, hiking, camping, fishing and traveling to new countries. I am a huge fan of board games and video games. I love learning new languages and so far I know Siswati (Swaziland), French, Italian and English. I am hoping to learn a lot of Spanish and Creole while in the Dominican Republic.

Andrew Nute

I am currently a student at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. I am studying Global Epidemiology with a focus on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and I plan on graduating in May of 2016 with a Master of Public Health degree.

I graduated undergrad with a BA in Humanities from the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado in 2010. After Graduating, I joined the Peace Corps as an HIV/AIDS Educator in Swaziland where I spent two years in a small rural community by the name of Sithobela. In 2012, I decided to extend my Peace Corps Service by spending a year working as a Community Liaison Officer with FHI 360. FHI 360 had just started a project in Swaziland called Community Based Livelihoods Development for Women and Children and over the course of my year with them, I helped carry out a survey in the first four communities they decided to work in. The results of this survey would act as a baseline for their interventions of training skills to generate income for women in those communities.

Any questions about me personally, please email me at

Press and Media

World Water Relief's efforts in Haiti

CBS News reporting on World Water Relief's efforts in Haiti

Find more videos on World Water Relief's website,

Additional Information

Hygiene education pictures

Lots of more pictures in the lab notes and on WWR's facebook page:

Project Backers

  • 20Backers
  • 100%Funded
  • $4,004Total Donations
  • $115.20Average Donation
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