ENSURING BETTER WATER AND SANITATION SERVICES AND GENDER EQUALITY THROUGH INTEGRITY
DORP, NGO Forum, Change Initiative
WHAT IT'S ABOUT
The Bangladesh Water Integrity Network (BAWIN) was launched in 2009 to act as an umbrella group for various water and anti-corruption stakeholders in the country, to jointly advocate for stronger integrity in the sector.
WIN’s programme with BAWIN and partners in Bangladesh aims to mobilise the service providers, CSOs, donors and communities to build integrity and address the issue of corruption prevalent in the water and sanitation sectors.
WIN and BAWIN are supporting service providers in Bangladesh to apply integrity management practices to improve performance and service delivery, Three of the largest utilities in the country (Khulna WASA, Chattogram WASA, and Rajshahi WASA) are using the Integrity Management Toolbox or InWASH to address concerns in customer relations, billing, metering, human resources and accountability of field staff.
WIN and partners also focus on exclusion from service delivery and the importance of integrity as a means to understand issues and prioritise action. This has led to programmes assessing integrity risks in the way resources are used for development and maintenance of WASH facilities in schools. In 2021, we also launched research on the very sensitive issue of sextortion, to understand the extent and drivers of the issue and its impact for women accessing water and sanitation.
Other research with partners in Bangladesh has focused on accountability and citizen engagement in climate adaptation work, as well as integrity failures and regulatory concerns on wastewater treatment and pollution in the garment industry.
HOW THINGS ARE CHANGING
In Bangladesh’s third largest city, the Khulna Water and Sewerage Authority’s (KWASA) commitment to the IMT process resulted in the systematisation of its billing. New software and processes resulted in better tracking of customers and a reduction of undelivered bills by 75%. As a result, the utility’s revenue increased and customers expressed overall approval for the new system. KWASA has also launched media engagement and a series of public hearings, in efforts to communicate more transparently with users.
In Chattogram, CWASA has improved and diversified means to receive customer complaints and now logs and follows up more efficiently. It also has streamlined its field inspection processes to increase accountability.
Research on wastewater management in the garment industry carried out in 2017 pointed towards poor implementation of laws, inadequate monitoring from government agencies, and factories’ underuse of required effluent treatment plants, leading to serious pollution of waterways with far-reaching consequences for the health and well-being of city residents.
In schools in southern Bangladesh, looking at WASH in schools with an integrity lens has led to the mobilisation of students and teachers for better school WASH and a better understanding of rules and responsibilities for development and maintenance of school WASH facilities.
A 2022 research initiative on sextortion, carried out with partners DORP and Change Initiative in 2 rural and 2 urban areas of Bangaldesh is the largest of its kind in water and sanitation and reveals how much sextortion is underreported and taboo. It shows it is critical to adress sextortion specifically as part of anti-corruption programming.
WASH in Schools
Integrity Management for utilities
Wastewater and the garment industry
FIND OUT MORE AND GET INVOLVED
Contact the programme coordinator: