This chapter presents an overview of the research methodology and introduces the case studies that were analysed as part of this research. The research took place at two key levels of analysis: the programme or support model; and the community level. To measure the professionalisation of the enabling support environment and the community service provider, the research adopted an approach called qualitative information systems. These were developed as a means for standardising evaluation in water, sanitation and hygiene programmes. A village may contain one or more water systems, particularly, the combination of communal piped supplies with individual point sources is common. Taking the village as a unit of analysis thus means assessing the aggregate level of service from these various systems, as well as the aggregate performance of all service providers in that village.