Supplementary materials for

“Can Information Reduce Nonpayment for Public Utilities? Experimental Evidence from South Africa”

Andrea Szabo and Gergely Ujhelyi


Our education campaign used five Information Brochures. These were handed out to treatment households by Odi Water employees during education visits that lasted 30-60 minutes. The brochures were translated to the local language (Setswana).

Brochure 1: How to read your water bill,   Brochure 2: How to detect and fix a water leak,   Brochure 3: Tips on saving water indoors,   Brochure 4: Tips on saving water outdoors,

Brochure 5: How to read your water meter,   Baseline survey questionnaire



Photos from the baseline / follow-up survey


Interviewer Training


Field workers attended a full day workshop in March 2012 where they familiarized themselves with the purpose of the project and the questionnaire. We went through all questions in the questionnaire and made sure everyone understood the information to be collected and how it should be recorded. The workshop also included role-playing a household visit to fine-tune the interview process. We wanted to make sure that household visits would be as uniform as possible.

Interviewers were young people in their early 20s. Most of them live in the survey area, and all of them have extensive experience conducting household visits in this type of setting.



GPS coordinates were collected for the location of each household. Households’ location relative to each-other is important to assess any spillover effects from the education intervention.


Photos from the survey



Typical housing unit and infrastructure in the sample



RDP House

Typical properties in the area are relatively small, the average household size is 4.3 persons. Many housing units are uniform single-family buildings provided by the government with limited modifications made by the residents. Thus, living conditions are fairly similar within our sample.



Each participating household has water-using sanitation and tap(s) inside the house or outside on the property. Consumption is metered individually by a meter located on the property and easily accessible to the household.





Photos from the education program

Training of the educational officers


Education officers delivering the education program were trained by us specifically for this project. They are employed by Odi Water and regularly make household visits in our area of study.


The training involved role-playing a household visit.


During the education program, education officers were supervised by Odi Water’s marketing department.


Household visits





The education officers visited the households to give them the education brochures. They explained the contents of each, emphasizing a list of specific items (for example, how the dial on the water meter should be read).