• User Guide to Assessing Water Govnernance

    A guide to select, adapt, and develop appropriate assessment frameworks and indicators for governance and performance assessments in the water sector, that will serve users to enable dialogue, inform policy-making, and strengthen accountability processes.


  • To benchmark and monitor the state of water governance in different regions or at different levels (local, national).
  • To inform planning processes for resource allocation and identify potential gaps in policy reform implementation.
  • When different stakeholders need to develop a common understanding of the state of water governance: to spur discussion, find entry points for civic engagement, and facilitate peer-to-peer learning.
  • To evaluate the indicators, framework, or methodology of a governance assessment or benchmark that has been put into question.



Development of a holistic governance assessment framework that encompasses institutions and stakeholders, performance, and integrity principles.




  • Policymakers
  • Government officials
  • Civil society organizations
  • Consultants and water governance experts


There are no blueprints for water governance: every country as its own set of legal and governance systems, institutional arrangements, and stakeholder dynamics. A water governance assessment therefore has to be adapted to the context and designed to fit specific objectives.

The User Guide to Assessing Water Governance is a conceptual framework and set of guiding questions to help identify key areas of focus, priorities, and challenges for water governance, including those related to corruption. It provides resources to better integrate the dimension of integrity and integrity principles in an assessment framework.

It contains resources on three main components:

  • Power, as analysed from the perspective of stakeholders, institutions, and interests;
  • Principles, in particular transparency, accountability, and participation;
  • Governance performance, including efficiency and effectiveness of institutions in delivering and achieving their goals.

The guide also includes examples and lists of cases where different frameworks have been used.

Steps to develop a framework and conduct a water governance assessment:

How we support implementation

A water governance assessment is an adaptable approach tool that can be used at different levels and in different contexts.

WIN and its partners provide guidance and support to use the water governance assessment guide and develop strong governance assessment frameworks that cover integrity dimensions. We also facilitate workshops, providing facilitators and mentoring support.



The User Guide on Assessing Water Governance was developed by the Water Integrity Network (WIN) together with the UNDP Water Governance Facility at SIWI and the Oslo Governance Centre.