Today nearly 800 million people do not have access to safe drinking water and roughly one-third of the world’s population lives in water-stressed regions. The call for sustainable water management — with policies and practices that contribute towards human and economic development while protecting our common environmental resources — is one we must answer to promote healthy and prosperous societies worldwide.
New initiatives to tackle this challenge cannot be successful and managed with integrity if they are not built on transparent participatory processes. Engaging with different types of stakeholders, often with conflicting interests, is a difficult balancing act that carries its own integrity risks.
Tools to understand and manage integrity risks of multi-stakeholder partnerships can facilitate the development of stronger initiatives and coalitions.
Engaging with businesses in water management
Business have big stakes in water management and are important partners of sustainable development initiatives. Water Stewardship Initiatives (WSI) are a form of coordinated engagement of interested parties, including businesses. They are considered as a promising means to jointly address shared water challenges. A WSI will generally entail joint decision-making, structured collective action, and joint implementation of programmes.
A Guide for Managing Integrity in Water Stewardship Initiatives
WSIs can face a range of integrity risks that have the potential to seriously harm the communities, institutions, and ecosystems they work in. The Guide for Managing Water Integrity in WSIs is a practical set of principles, guiding questions, and tools, to support the development and work of WSIs. By both understanding and properly managing risks, and by engaging stakeholders in collective action with integrity, WSIs can deliver on the promise of better water governance.
The Guide includes:
- Integrity principles for WSIs designed to prevent and tackle the most common integrity risks related to their stated objectives, participant collaboration and governance principles.
- Guiding questions developed to determine gaps and weaknesses in analysis, processes or communication, for each phase of the WSI life cycle
- Key activities outlining approaches to address the most pressing risks
- Tools to support the implementation of the most appropriate activities
The Guide was developed by WIN and the CEO Water Mandate in partnership with the Pacific Institute, Water Witness International, Partnerships in Practice, Pegasys, and the International Water Stewardship Programme, with the support of BMZ and DFID.