© James Kiyimba

Social Accountability in Practice in the Water Sector

Cases from around the world

There is a wide range of social accountability tools and approaches. They can support the process of increasing transparency in service delivery, disseminating knowledge and raising awareness about water governance issues, in addition to opening up paths for participation of affected stakeholders. As such, they support the increase of water integrity in all initiatives where they are applied even though their end impact on corruption levels and sustainability of water systems is highly context-dependent and should be considered with care.

Here are a few examples of cases from the water sector worldwide where social accountability mechanisms have been used.

Do you have more experience that could help us better understand how social accountability works to improve integrity? Share your story with us!


Participatory project planning and management

An introduction to the World Bank Action Learning approach, as applied in the water sector in Oaxaca, Mexico:

Civic Engagement in
Coalitions Addressing Corruption

The empowered grass-roots organizations in Peru and Ecuador holding authorities to account for water:

Forging Accountability in
Water Governance From Below

An examination of how Community-Managed Water Boards take integrity at heart in Central America:

Integrity and the Human Right
to Water in Central America

The joint development of the Mombasa Water Improvement Pact by a utility and its users:

Mombasa Water
Improvement Pact

How citizens are taking the lead in monitoring service in Kampala slums:

Citizen Action for Accountable
WATSAN Services


Public scrutiny processes

An AWIS application on water supply services in Kenya, or how to discuss sensitive topics in a constructive manner:

Setting the Right Tone for
Dialogue on Water Integrity

An AWIS application on WASH in public schools in India:

School Toilets and Integrity

How a group of citizens in the Sibagat province in the Philippines is monitoring the finances of water projects:

Instilling Water Integrity
in Sibagat, the Philippines


User surveys

A CRC application in Nepal:

Using Citizen Report Cards to
Assess Accountability in Nepal

A CRC application in Kenya:

Working with Demand-Side
Accountability Tools in Kenya


Complaint mechanisms

How water action groups in Kenya act as a link between water service suppliers and users

Water Action Groups in Kenya


User representation mechanisms

How water clubs in rural Tanzania have supported the long-term sustainability of rain-water tank systems:

Water Clubs for Sustainable
Water Provision in Tanzania

The citizen directors at a utility in Bolivia:

Water Utility Meets
Citizen Participation


Coming soon: more cases from Ethiopia, Senegal, Zambia, Mexico, Honduras, India…

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