International Water Management Institute / Water Research Commission

Good water governance for inclusive growth and poverty reduction

Wednesday 31 August | 14.00-15.30 | Room: FH 307
Photo by WRC

Seminar 8 - 3rd session: Indicators for Good Water Governance

Good governance from local to transboundary levels is a prerequisite for managing too much, too little and too polluted water with a view to contributing to more sustainable and inclusive growth. Stakeholder participation includes the recognition of power asymmetry and gender-differentiated roles in achieving good governance as central to effective, inclusive and efficient water resources management. How can robust public policies be designed and implemented that contribute to SDG 6 and other water-related goals? How to engage stakeholders effectively when dealing with diverse social and economic ‘endowments’? How can institutions translate local action into inclusive growth and reap the full benefits of national frameworks at all levels? How can the food, energy and the environmental sectors be brought into the equation; and what is the private sector’ contribution? Most importantly, how to ensure accountability and avoid corruption creeping in?

During the seminar posters will be presented. Please find them online under the resources tab.

Programme

Session 3: Indicators of good water governance

Chair: Dr. Aziza Akhmouch, OECD

14:00     Welcome and aim of the session
              Dr. Aziza Akhmouch, OECD

14:05     Towards OECD Indicators on Water Governance
              Peter Glas, President, OECD Water Governance Initiative

14:15     Establishing responsible water resource authorities in South 
              Africa   
              Aileen Andersen, Crossflow Consulting

14:25     Panel Discussion: Measuring the performance of water-related
              institutions
              Moderator: Aziza Akhmouch, OECD 

  • Dr. Donal O’Leary, Transparency International
  • Prof. Pierre Alain Roche, ASTEE
  • Teun Bastemeijer, Water Integrity Network
  • Eric Tardieu, International Network of Basin Organisations
  • Dr. Håkan Tropp, SIWI

15:00     Discussion with the audience, Q&A

15:15     Main conclusions and way forward
             Dr. Jenny Grönwall, SIWI

Conclusion

Good governance from local to transboundary levels is a prerequisite for managing too much, too little and too polluted water with a view to contributing to more sustainable and inclusive growth. Stakeholder participation includes the recognition of power asymmetry and gender-differentiated roles in achieving good governance as central to effective, inclusive and efficient water resources management. Such aspects come to mind when considering good water governance which needs to be supported by practice rather than being an event or an end in itself. The core of this seminar stressed on inclusiveness, functionality and profitability of water structures. Balanced growth and poverty reductions were elicit from three continuous measurement levels: conditions, progress and impact of public policies in bottom-up and multi-stakeholder water networks. Novel methodologies and frameworks were discussed, from power asymmetries measurement approaches to transparent practices and economic viable strategies on access, management and reuse of water.

Initial session discussed on tools and methodologies. Prof. Francisco Nunes Correia reflected water governance as a myriad of rules, practices and processes than can effectively enhance inclusiveness in water policies. Concrete implementation of good practices like water stewardship and progressive tariff showed how collaborative action acknowledging cultural diversity, capacity gaps, and differential needs could enhance equitable growth and boost sustainable development on water management. Social network analysis, designed as a comprehensive assessment tool, identify political spaces for change and recognize power relationships of all stakeholders involved, so that water and sanitation development initiatives are fair and sustainable for all segments of society.

From theory to practice, second session showed successful case studies of good water governance that overcome barriers on implementation. Dr. Diana Suhardiman reviewed how understanding the cultural norms and practices are key to overcome the institutionalized corruption for structural change in water governance. Presentations from specialists promoted fruitful discussions on transboundary water management and performance measurement, through public-private partnerships and water infrastructure.

Following on the different levels of measurement, an important challenge to improve water governance is to overcome the difficulty to monitor/assess performance.  This requires an agreed set of specific indicators for good water governance that are not SDGs indicators.  Therefore, collecting the right type of data and the ability to channel such information to end users, relying on both government and non-government organizations, contributes to ensure the measurement of indicators of good water governance.

Good water governance requires the ability to mainstream integrity and transparency to respond to the need for structural change to reduce corruption. Policy reform to eradicate corruption requires careful consideration of the cultural setting and common practices of the society.  International donors and policy makers help strengthen ‘agents of change’ by working together with accountable agencies and institutions that act both as partner and third party observer, towards strengthening institutional accountability.

Resources