November Round-up

Selected links of the month for water integrity

Accountability in tough places, a new database for accountability, and the long-lasting impact of poor integrity and corruption in the water sector

In November, Venetians had their feet in the water, partly because of corruption. And in other news, we noted the updates from the Action for Empowerment and Accountability (A4EA) Programme by the Institute for Development Studies and partners and the launch of the Accountability Console database

Please don’t hesitate to share your views  in the comments or get in touch to share information and material for the next round-up. Thank you!

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8 key messages on promoting empowerment and accountability in tough places

The Action for Empowerment and Accountability (A4EA) Programme by the Institute for Development Studies and partners is and international research programme exploring how social and political action can contribute to empowerment and accountability in fragile, conflict, and violent settings. They recently published emerging messages that highlight the need to seriously rethink our approaches in fragile contexts. The messages specifically point to the importance of frontline actors and women’s collective action. We’re keeping our eyes peeled for more.

Read on: A4EA Synthesis Report – Empowerment and accountability in difficult settings: what are we learning?

And a summary of the messages: 8 Key Messages on Promoting Empowerment and Accountability in Messy Places


Accountability Console

Accountability Counsel launched a database that includes complaints filed to the independent accountability mechanisms of bilateral and multilateral development finance. That includes complaints for corruption. And complaints related to water infrastructure projects. Worth a deep dive.

Access the database: Accountability Console


Flooding in Venice

In Venice, thirty people were arrested after a corruption scandal broke in 2014, related to a slush fund to bribe officials amassed by the consortium building the city’s new flood barriers. Today, the barriers are not finished and there are questions about the planning, effectiveness, and impact of the Moses project. Venetians have expressed dismay and anger after the sudden flooding in November caused serious damage to their homes and Venice landmarks.

The case has been in the news repeatedly, for example in the Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, or on France 24.


And a bonus preview for December:

South African President takes a stand on corruption in water

South Africa president Cyril Ramaphosa, wrote in his weakly letter on December 2 that: “Mismanagement of water resources and corruption in the water sector has in no small part contributed to the situation we currently face.” He added “Serious accountability and governance issues persist, whether it is in the building of infrastructure or at a municipal level, where water losses are mounting as a result of billing errors, unauthorised usage and outright theft.

This is a very clear, strong message on poor integrity in the sector coming straight from the Head of State!

We are eager to see how this will translate into action.

Read more at:

Corruption in water infrastructure projects will be punished: Ramaphosa

Dubious tenders put SA’s water security at risk, Cyril Ramaphosa says

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