Use of low bandwidth network technologies and sensors for operation and performance monitoring of rural development projects: A case study in South Africa

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4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Poor infrastructure maintenance of basic services in developing countries undermine economic development and sustainability. The process of reactive maintenance on equipment are practiced in many rural projects, resulting in a range of challenges, including high cost, shorter life expectancy of equipment and inefficient use of project engagement time by project teams. This paper proposes the use of low data rate sensors for the monitoring of rural infrastructure to assist in the practice of preventive maintenance in rural projects. The paper argues and demonstrates the importance of on-going operation and performance monitoring of infrastructure to implement preventive maintenance throughout the life cycle of rural infrastructure projects with the use of a case study—a remote village in rural South Africa. The implementation of preventive maintenance practices in rural projects show that project maintenance budgets can be utilized more efficiently when compared to traditional reactive maintenance. In addition to the reduction of maintenance cost, the implementation of preventive maintenance can lead to better life expectancy of equipment as well as safer operating and maintenance conditions for operators and maintenance teams. Findings reveal that the utilization of low data rate sensors for equipment operation and performance monitoring can support rural development as it assists preventive maintenance solutions, replacing reactive maintenance strategies. The paper further aims to assist project teams working in rural projects to improve support and maintenance of deployed infrastructure and equipment to improve the sustainability of these rural projects. The contribution of this paper is the demonstration of how the implementation of low bandwidth network technologies and sensors can be utilized for operation and performance monitoring in deep rural projects without incurring major costs to support the sustainability of these projects.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12182
JournalElectronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries
Volume87
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021

Keywords

  • ICT
  • IoT
  • maintenance
  • operation and performance monitoring
  • preventive
  • reactive
  • sensors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems

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