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Integrity for community-managed and small water systems

IMPROVING WATER SERVICE AND ADDRESSING PREMATURE WATER SYSTEM FAILURE IN RURAL AND MARGINALISED AREAS


women looking at integrity action planning board at community meeting
Community meeting in Chiapas (Mexico) using the IMT-SWSS with Cantaro Azul (photo by Carmen Fernandez Fernandez)

DATES

2017-Current


LOCATION(S)

Global, Kenya, Mexico


PARTNERS

Caritas Switzerland, KEWASNET, WASREB, CESPAD, KWAHO, NIA, Cantaro Azul, Controla Tu Gobierno


WHAT IT'S ABOUT

Over the last decade, service provision in developing countries has considerably improved and professionalised in urban and commercially viable areas. However, in rural and marginalised areas where services are often not commercially viable, people still depend on point sources or small-scale piped systems. These systems are often managed by community groups that sometimes struggle to remain active and also often operate outside a country’s regulatory framework or oversight systems, with little support and limited accountability. In many cases, these water systems end up offering low quality services or quickly break down.


For years, NGOs and other water sector actors have been trying to address this issue by providing more technical training. However, this type of training, rarely helps surmount the root causes of poor O&M, which are most often poor management, inadequate or inexistent cost recovery systems, in addition to insufficient access to national or local technical and financial government support mechanisms. Integrity can provide a unique perspective on the sector issues that contribute to poor O&M and low performance of such systems.


WIN has been working actively with partners in Kenya and Mexico to support communities in identifying root causes of problems from an integrity perspective. We use the Integrity Management Toolbox for Small Water Supply Systems (IMT-SWSS) to support integrity management processes where communities look at their system with an integrity lens and develop action plans to gradually improve governance, performance, relations with users, and local duty bearers.


To date in Kenya, the IMT-SWSS has been embraced and is hosted by WASREB, the national regulator for service delivery. It is seen as an effective tool to build capacity of community groups to comply with the new Water Act and the Rural Water Service Delivery Guidelines of 2019, which refer to the IMT-SWSS management models. A majority of community groups that used the IMT-SWSS reported a positive improvement in how water committees engaged with communities and involved them in decision-making, especially in regard to finance and tariffs.

In Mexico, rural communities located in the centre and south of the country which have implemented the IMT-SWSS, put in place a numbers of measures to engage with users, for example: complaint mechanisms for users, regular meetings with families and community audits, or agreements on a transparent fee or rate structure. They continue to use the tool to plan improvements.

TOOLS

The Integrity Management Toolbox for Small Water Supply Systems (IMT-SWSS) is a set of resources for communities to launch management plans that are participatory and focus on accountability and compliance.


PUBLICATIONS

On the impact of integrity management tools:

WIN_IntegrityTool-Impact_2022
.pdf
Download PDF • 3.62MB

Case studies:

WIN-Caritas_Case_IMT-SWSS_Kenya
.pdf
Download PDF • 1.49MB
WIN_CaseStudy_IMT-SWSS_Ethiopia_Badesa
.pdf
Download PDF • 608KB
WIN_CaseStudy_IMT-SWSS_Ethiopia_Gobile
.pdf
Download PDF • 371KB


FIND OUT MORE OR GET INVOLVED

Contact our programme coordinator


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