Reflecting the lively discussions on water integrity that took place at several sessions, the overarching conclusions of the Stockholm World Water Week in 2015 pointed out that “transparency, accountability and participation are critical to fair and inclusive water management, as well as to achieving universal water access”. Shortly after the conference, the adoption of the SDGs provided a framework and overarching targets not only for water (Goal 6) but also for transparency, accountability, participation, and anti-corruption work (Goal 16).
It is now time to build integrity walls that keep out corruption and cement integrity as a core element of the water sector. The Water Integrity Global Outlook 2016, which introduces these integrity walls is a call to action to decision-makers and practitioners and provides guidance for achieving changes in policy and practice.
Improving integrity systematically, politically, professionally –and urgently
There is no time to lose. Just this past year, the investigation into the Belo Monte dam has rocked Brazil’s government at the highest levels; environmental activists like Berta Caceres and Nelson Garcia from Honduras were brutally murdered; the extent and roots of the Flint crisis were revealed; and investigations into corruption cases linked to water infrastructure continue in Spain, India, Nigeria etc.
A new dynamic: increased demand for integrity
At the same time, there is growing awareness of the urgent need to better care for our water resources. There is increasing demand for transparent and effective use of resources. There are also new opportunities for increased stakeholder engagement as new players focus on the water sector and new technology opens up possibilities of knowledge exchange and data collection.
Individuals and organizations worldwide are working every day to improve integrity. Some are adopting financial accounting standards. Some are denouncing corruption. Some are building multi-stakeholder coalitions. Others are reporting on water quality issues, creating user groups to provide input on water policy, collecting and disseminating better monitoring data, developing integrity charters to guide their processes. The list goes on.
WIN supports this network of action and intends to take a major step forward to boost water integrity with its new strategy for 2017 – 2022. The strategy will be launched at the Stockholm World Water Week on Monday, August 29, as we celebrate WIN’s 10th birthday.
Announcing WIN’s new strategy
WIN’s new strategy is the result of an iterative, consultative process with our partners around the globe. In the 2017-2022 period, we aim for our work to have measurable outcomes in terms of increasing integrity and reducing corruption in the water sector, so as to contribute to more efficient and effective processes to attain the SDGs and fulfil the human rights to water and sanitation.
WIN is a small NGO. Our main role is to mobilize change agents and facilitate the support they need. We will continue to focus on building partnerships, advocacy, and capacity development. We will also give more emphasis to focused research aimed at measuring integrity and corruption, and assessing their costs and impact in the sector.
The WIN strategy has the 3 following main objectives for 2017-2022:
- At international level: Effective action is undertaken within the international water sector to increase integrity and reduce corruption
- At country level: Integrity is measurably increased and corruption reduced in the water sector within countries
- On information, knowledge and expertise: Necessary information, knowledge, and expertise to advance and measure water integrity action is available and used.
Water integrity is the joint responsibility of the whole sector. WIN needs active partners to prompt the policy and practice changes needed. We are ready to work with you along the lines of our new strategy. Find out more about our new strategy and how we can jointly stimulate water integrity at the launch of the WIN Strategy 2017 – 2022, Monday August 29, at 5 pm at the WIN booth (booth no. 12).