WIN has been working with partners in Guatemala since 2011, especially with lead implementing partner Helvetas Guatemala as part of the Swiss-funded Multi-Country Water Integrity Programme.
We have conducted baseline studies on water and sanitation services at municipal level in Southwest Guatemala, to identify the current situation of several municipalities and communities in terms of municipal water and sanitation management, integrity, application of legal and regulatory frameworks and user participation.
A major aim for the programme is to effectively engage municipal officials and promote collaboration with municipalities for water integrity. WIN and partners are now in the process of drafting water and sanitation regulation and helping to build capacity of governments and municipal officials on transparency and accountability.
At the national level, the programme is starting a dialogue with INFOM, the national institution that fosters municipal development, to help spread integrity principles in their operations.
As a result of a lack of awareness and understanding of the water policy and its rationale, the enforcement of water policy is not optimal in Guatemala. The many institutions involved in water management also have little clarity on their overlapping roles and responsibilities.
The further involvement of women in decision-making spaces within the different community organizational structures is crucial.
Capacity development of local stakeholders and awareness creation as well as advocacy work have been used as a measure to overcome these challenges. The communities where integrity practices have been successfully implemented could serve as a model for other communities to become involved in the process.
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WIN country programme update, 2014