British Medical Journal Publishes HWISE Scale

The HWISE-RCN announces the latest publication, “Development and validation protocol for an instrument to measure household water insecurity across cultures and ecologies: the Household Water InSecurity Experiences (HWISE) Scale,” by members Dr. Sera Young, Shalean Collins, Dr. Godfred Boateng, Dr. Torsten Neilands, Zeina Jamaluddine, Joshua Miller, Dr. Alexandra Brewis, Dr. Edward Frongillo, Dr. Wendy Jepson, Dr. Hugo Melgar-Quiñonez, Dr. Roseanne Schuster, Dr. Justin Stoler, Dr. Amber Wutich on behalf of the HWISE Research Coordination Network. This publication is based off the work of anthropologists, geographers, nutritionists, statisticians and epidemiologists, among others, in 28 sites across four continents. Congratulations on a wonderful article! We are excited to see how the scale is implemented worldwide.


Introduction A wide range of water-related problems contribute to the global burden of disease. Despite the many plausible consequences for health and well-being, there is no validated tool to measure individual- or household-level water insecurity equivalently across varying cultural and ecological settings. Accordingly, we are developing the Household Water Insecurity Experiences (HWISE) Scale to measure household-level water insecurity in multiple contexts.

Methods and analysis After domain specification and item development, items were assessed for both content and face validity. Retained items are being asked in surveys in 28 sites globally in which water-related problems have been reported (eg, shortages, excess water and issues with quality), with a target of at least 250 participants from each site. Scale development will draw on analytic methods from both classical test and item response theories and include item reduction and factor structure identification. Scale evaluation will entail assessments of reliability, and predictive, convergent, and discriminant validity, as well as the assessment of differentiation between known groups.

This is an open access article and can be viewed with the following link:

HWISE Scholar Highlight: Dr. Michelle Kooy



Dr. Michelle Kooy is an Associate Professor of the Politics of Urban Water at IHE-Delft Institute for Water Education. She is also the Coordinator for the IHE Graduate School in Water & Development and lecturer in the MSc Programme on Water Governance. Dr. Kooy is cross-appointed to the Department of Geography, Planning and International Development Studies at the University of Amsterdam, and is a Senior Editor of the international multi-disciplinary review journal WIRES-Water.

Dr. Kooy’s research is concerned with how inequalities in access to water and exposure to water-related risks in and across urban spaces are mediated through water infrastructure. Theorizing the politics of water infrastructure from the global south she decenters the role of centralized networks in her analysis, focusing instead on the ways in which urban water systems are connected through a range of practices and technologies, and how these simultaneously social, technical, and ecological connections shape the uneven distribution of water and related risks within urban spaces and across rural/urban boundaries.

Her current projects on urban water inequalities in cities of Arusha (Tanzania), Kampala (Uganda); Jakarta, Indonesia; and Maputo (Mozambique) analyze the politics of the urban water cycle to ask how existing interactions between wastewater, piped water, groundwater, surface water are made, and how evenly the costs and benefits are spread across society. This also entails a concern with the politics of knowledge production on urban water issues: identifying where explanatory frameworks for urban water problems come from, the power relations embedded within their assumptions, and their accuracy in explaining dynamics of urban water supply cities of the South.

Dr. Kooy’s selected publications:

Batubara, Kooy, and Zwarteveen (2018) Uneven Urbanisation: Connecting flows of water to flows of people and capital through Jakarta’s flood infrastructureAntipode

Rusca, Alda, and Kooy (2018) Sanitation Justice? Addressing the multiple dimensions of urban sanitation inequalities, book chapter in Water Justice, eds. Boelens, Perrault, Vos. Cambridge University Press.

Furlong and Kooy (2017) Worlding Water Supply: Rethinking beyond the network in JakartaInternational Journal of Urban and Regional Research 41(6): 888-903.

Alda, C., Kooy, M., Rusca, M. (2017) Mapping operation and maintenance: an everyday urbanism analysis of inequalities within piped water supply in Lilongwe, Malawi. Urban Geography  (download open access version here)

Walter, Kooy, and Prabaharyaka (2017) The role of bottled drinking water in achieving SDG 6.1: An analysis of affordability and equity from Jakarta, IndonesiaInternational Journal of Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development

Zwarteveen, Kemerink-Seyoum, Kooy, Evers, Acevedo-Guerrero, Batubara, Faber, Flamini, Boakye-Ansah, Faber, Flamini, Cuadrado-Quesada, Fantini, Gupta, Hasan, ter Horst, Jamali, Jaspers, Obani, Schwartz, Shubber, Smit, Torio, Tutusaus (2017) The politics of water governance: distributions of water, authority, and knowledgeWiley Interdisciplinary Reviews on Water

Wesselink, A., Kooy, M., Warner, J. (2016) Socio-hydrology and hydrosocial analysis: towards dialogues across disciplines. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews on Water.

Kooy, M., Walter, C., Prabaharyaka, I. (2016) Inclusive development of urban water services in Jakarta: the role of groundwater. Habitat International 

For more information and a list of her current research projects, visit her website at