• Integrity Walls: TAP-A

    A guiding framework to think about integrity systematically, and plan concrete actions focusing on the pillars of integrity: Transparency, Accountability, Participation, and Anti-corruption.

The Integrity Wall is based on the idea that we can all build up Transparency, Accountability, and Participation, and strengthen Anti-corruption (TAP-A) mechanisms at different levels, to cement integrity, and keep out corruption in the sector. In combination, these four pillars create a framework for integrity.

The OECD Principles on Water Governance include Principle 9, to ‘mainstream integrity and transparency practices across water policies, water institutions and water governance frameworks for greater accountability and trust in decision-making’.

The Integrity Wall is adapted from the Water Integrity Global Outlook 2016. The Water Integrity Global Outlook 2016 (WIGO) captures a growing recognition of the need for good governance and measures to eliminate corruption to improve sector performance. It emphasizes the need for transparency, accountability and participation (TAP) to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 6 on water and sanitation.


The first step in deciding a course of action for integrity is to have a clear picture of the most pressing integrity risks in the specific context of your initiative.

An open discussion on integrity and a preliminary assessment can go a long way in setting momentum for action and building a joint understanding of major risks. Simple and cost-effective tools like an Annotated Water Integrity Scan (AWIS) can help this process. There are also many other methodologies.

See more on assessment and monitoring tools.


Procurement is a vulnerable process for water projects of all sizes, and for large-scale infrastructure projects in particular. Strict procedures and independent monitoring are key.


Social accountability is ‘an approach towards building accountability that relies on civic engagement, i.e., in which it is ordinary citizens and/or civil society organizations who participate directly or indirectly in exacting accountability‘ (World Bank). There is a broad range of social accountability mechanisms, primarily to:

  • Monitor and evaluate service
  • Provide user input and feedback to service providers, policy-makers and oversight bodies
  • Promote transparency
  • Promote monitoring and evaluation, or
  • Allow for participation in decision-making


  • Public scrutiny processes (social audits, community scorecards)
  • User surveys (citizen report cards, service delivery surveys)
  • Complaint mechanisms
  • User representation mechanisms (user associations, citizen directors)
  • Participatory project planning, management and tracking, including community-managed project approaches

There are a number of approaches in the areas of budgeting and procurement which have a strong element of social accountability and are described in more detail in our overview of our tools.

Find out more on the World Bank’s Social Accountability E-guide.


Social accountability initiatives can be effective in improving services and strengthening integrity, especially at the local level. The tools provide opportunities to exert bottom-up pressure while also supporting collaboration between citizens/users, service providers and (government) oversight bodies. There are a number of promising cases of social accountability tools being implemented in the water sector with some success.



  1. Engaging with actors that most benefit from improved service (women and children in particular) and focusing on issues that are critical to them is crucial for the sustainability of any initiative
  2. Local context and stakeholders relationships must be taken into account and impact the selection of tools
  3. Social accountability approaches are more effective when they combine citizen monitoring with evidence-based information on service quality (see more on this point in this publication from the World Bank on long-term effectiveness of social accountability initiatives in the health sector in Uganda)
  4. Advocacy, communication and public visibility are essential.
  5. Empowerment and capacity building are also elements of social accountability mechanisms that will condition their success, as pointed out in this Water Integrity Forum example and presentation from IWMI.


To help individual organizations get started, we have developed an example Integrity Management Toolbox that describes possible integrity risks related to accounting, human resources and general operations, as well as the tools available to manage them.

The Toolbox has already been adapted to support a structured Integrity Management process for utilities, public institutions of the water sector, and river basin organizations.

See more about how the Toolbox works or browse through descriptions of integrity risks and tools.