We launched an international shared learning event on water integrity this Monday, May 29th, at HELVETAS Nepal premises in Kathmandu. Over the next five days 50 participants will be gathered to exchange lessons learned in the Multi-Country Water Integrity Programme* and discuss how to promote Transparency, Accountability and Participation (TAP) as a means to address integrity failures and corruption in the WASH sector (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene).
The event is particularly enriching since practitioners from 11 countries (Bangladesh, Benin, Ethiopia, Germany, Guatemala, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Nepal, Pakistan, Switzerland) are present to exchange experiences and generate ideas on how to mainstream water integrity across ongoing and future water and governance projects.
Today we were warmly welcomed by the Helvetas Nepal Country Director, Dr. Bharat Phokharel, who introduced participants to the socially and politically complex make-up of the country. For the rest of the day, we listened to and discussed the key lessons learned, challenges, context and achievements of the MCWIP initiatives in:
where stakeholders are working towards improving Public Finance Management in the WASH sector in strategic partnership with the Budget Monitoring Forum and Mozambican Debt Group. Participants found it particularly interesting to see how this water integrity programme collaborates with national oversight institutions such as the Parliamentary Budget and Audit Committee to safeguard budget allocations to the WASH sector despite major national budget cuts caused by the ongoing debt crisis. The use of Citizens Report Cards and Social Audits as a means to generate and present local evidence in Provincial and National Development Observatories (spaces for state-citizen engagement) was another key take-away.
inspired the participants when narrating how local and national level media engagement, including newspapers, radio and TV station has been an important component of the programme in the efforts to sensitize and create citizen’s awareness on water integrity thereby contributing to a more transparent, accountable and participative WASH sector. The national level advocacy efforts through the strategic Partnership with FEDWASUN (Federation of Water & Sanitation User in Nepal) equally generated a lot of interest.
Swiss partner CARITAS presented how they, together with the Water Integrity Network, have adapted the Water Integrity Management Toolbox for community-managed water systems. The toolbox aims to enhance TAP and compliance to regulatory frameworks, while developing capacities of rural community water schemes and county governments.
where the Water Integrity Programme is working closely with municipalities to establish regulatory frameworks and develop capacities to ensure that municipal policies, codes and regulations, are adhered to, for example rules related to improving water fee payment and collection mechanisms as well as participatory decision making processes.
The next days are bound to open up new avenues for action on water integrity. We’ll be sharing more impressions soon!
* The Multi Country Water Integrity programme is since 2012 funded by SDC and jointly implemented by HELVETAS, cewas, Caritas and WIN (Water Integrity Network). The country initiatives in the Global South are executed by HELVETAS and partners in Guatemala, Mozambique and Nepal. The three Water Integrity Programmes share the same overall objective: to fight corruption in the water sector and to improve water integrity in local water service provision.