The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) funds Global Programme Water Initiatives (GPWI) to help find solutions to global challenges linked to water management. One of its strategic pillars is entirely dedicated to water governance, and it is herein that WIN promotes its anti-corruption approach and its strategies for integrity implementation in the water sector.
SDC holds an annual Peer Review to give grantee organizations an opportunity to share their expertise and their insights on major programmatic achievements and outcomes. This year in September, WIN was invited to open the first day with a keynote speech on water integrity, particularly to introduce the idea of how to mainstream transparency and integrity in other projects operating under the umbrella of the GPWI.
The WIN Partnerships & MEL (Monitoring, Evaluation, Learning) Coordinator Jacopo Gamba briefed the audience on the concept of water integrity and highlighted some of the lessons from the field. He mentioned the case of Nepal, where the multi-stakeholder approach that brings together communities, media, and local authorities proved to be both feasible and highly effective. For instance, fifty 30-minute weekly programmes on water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) issues were broadcast from 12 radio stations in the country. This allowed far-flung communities to be aware of decisions affecting them, thereby increasing accountability.
The audience, composed of over 20 representatives of organizations that included UN-Water, UNESCO, UNITAR, the Center for Development and Cooperation, and Global Blue Peace, raised many questions. Some focused on the linkage between water integrity and the human right to water, while others noted the importance of equally tackling corruption demand and supply. The answers provided by Jacopo Gamba stimulated further discussion among the attendees, who saw rooting out corruption as a top priority in many of their operations.
The workshop provided an important space for addressing some of the burning issues that GPWI has to face, ranging from difficulties in promoting effective transboundary water management to conflict zones where water diplomacy may play a key role in negotiating peace.
A report with detailed outcomes of the Peer Review will be distributed to partners in mid-November.
Other WIN Engagements
The Moroccan Ministry of Energy, Mines, Water and Environment with support from the GIZ integrated water resource management programme convened a national workshop on integrity in the water sector. The event aimed at raising awareness and sharing knowledge on water integrity, bringing together stakeholders from national, regional and local government institutions from the water sector, good governance and anti-corruption, as well as service providers, development partners, associations and academia. – Lotte Feuerstein, WIN Programme Coordinator.
In response to the integrity, quality and compliance challenges facing WASH projects of Kenyan CSOs, KeWasNet and cewas have developed an approach to plan and manage projects more effectively. Based on various consultations with CSOs, local and national government a practical approach was developed that includes a check list, a training concept, and an auditing approach to ensure high levels of integrity, quality, and compliance in WASH projects. On 7 and 8 October 2015 the heads of eight WASH civil society organizations (CSO) joined an IQC leadership training. Participants appreciated the training because it made the link between abstract governance topics and the reality of project implementation. Moreover participants became more aware that they are funded through donors that emphasise IQC and managing related issues systematically is a comparative advantage. As a next step a CSO Sector Performance report will be developed to assess how CSOs handle IQC in their projects. – Janek Hermann-Friede, WIN Associated Consultants Network
WIN attended the 6th plenary meeting of the OECD Water Governance Initiative, a multi stakeholder platform that delivered the OECD principles on water governance. Some 120 member participants and observers attended this two-day, whose agenda included updates and discussions around a recent survey report on water governance in cities. Following a presentation of a document on OECD-WGI achievements and direction, five break-out groups of about 15 participants each worked hard to fine-tune and complete the indicative strategy and programmes for 2016-2019. While there is a perceived need for additional awareness-raising and outreach activities, there is an already impressive and increasing engagement of current members. WIN is a co-founder of the water governance initiative and a steering committee member. — Teun Bastemeijer, WIN Chief Adviser