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Promoting Water Integrity in Sub Saharan Africa

In 2008 the UNDP-Water Governance Facility at SIWI together with Cap-Net and WaterNet mapped regional and national policies, institutions, laws and regulations, as well as projects active in promoting transparency, accountability and integrity in the water sector in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. One of the key recommendations was the need for capacity building of staff at regional, national and local level, including various river basin organizations, as well as government and municipal entities. This need for capacity building was also reflected by the 2008 Global Corruption Report in the water sector, and expressed through the 2009 Water Integrity Network (WIN) surveys. In response to this demand, the UNDP-Water Governance Facility together with its partners SIWI, Cap-Net, WaterNet and WIN was able to secure funding from the Swedish Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) for a period of 3 years to implement the Regional Capacity Building Programme promoting and developing Water Integrity in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Programme Approach

The regional capacity building programme is based on the belief that any behavioural change for improved integrity must be based on a stepwise approach: (i) understanding corruption and anti-corruption in the context of water governance, (ii) diagnosing corruption risk areas, and (iii) strengthening transparency, accountability and participation in water governance through reform and practical application of measures. The training programme is that of action oriented capacity building, reaching water sector stakeholders at regional and national levels with roles and responsibilities in regulation, controlling, planning, policy development and decision making, as well as stakeholders less directly involved in water management, but with a key role in strengthening or demanding accountability, such as media, water users associations and advocacy organisations. The programme challenges water stakeholders to consider and debate potential solutions while bringing their own experiences to engage them; this includes all water-sector actors, including water professionals, civil society, journalists, and varying staff within water-related organisations and institutions, such as those with financial and Human Resources roles, for instance, the ombudsman. The programme helps participants recognise that the only way to put an end to opaque, dishonest, unresponsive and otherwise morally-compromised practices is to apply systems of transparency, participation and accountability.

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