Stockholm International Water Institute / Open Government Partnership / World Resources Institute / Water Integrity Network / Fundación Avina

Advancing water reforms through the Open Government Partnership

Sunday 26 August | 11.00-12.30 | Room: NL Music Hall

The water sector is typically focused on technical and management issues yet some of its greatest challenges relate to broader governance problems. This technical approach does not usually prioritize a citizen centric perspective over responsive service delivery, water use and quality challenges; nor does it emphasize the development of participatory forums for water providers, government regulators, water users and customers.

The open government paradigm set the principles of transparency, citizen participation and accountability at the heart of policy making.

The Open Government Partnership (OGP) provides a targeted mechanism for bringing together government officials and civil society to create specific commitments that improve water service delivery. It offers an important opportunity to move the water agenda forward and generate real momentum to improve government performance and recognisable benefits to citizens. 

The seminar will focus discussion around the need for a Community of Practice around water and open government. It’s design will include panel discussions from government and civil society at the national and sub-national level in OGP participating countries where OGP water commitments are being made. Presenters will share their experience in different phases of the National Action Plans (NAPS) making process: co-creation, implementation and completion of water commitments.


Gold standard events are committed to ensure the gender balance in speakers/panellists and young professional representation in the session.

Programme

11.00 -11:05 Welcome

Pilar Avello, SIWI

11:05 – 11:15 The Open Government Partnership and the Water agenda 

Emilene Martinez, OGP 

11:15- 11:45 Cases studies 

- Honduras Water Regulator ERSAPS. Commitment: Monitoring water and sanitation services

Giovanni Espinal, ERSAPS Director

- Kenya Water and Sanitation Civil Society Network , Kewasnet 

Shivaji Malesi , Chief Executive Officer 

11:45 - 11:55 Questions and Answer

11:55 -12:00 Efforts for a Community of Practice

Marcos Mendiburu, International Expert 

12:00- 12:25 Next steps for a CoP

Elizabeth Moses, WRI

12:25 -12:30 Closing words and end of session 

Jacopo Gamba, WIN


Conclusion

The event aimed to highlight the potential of the synergy between the Open Government and the Water governance reform agendas through the OGP platform. It took stock of country experiences working on water commitments in different stages of the OGP National Action Plan cycle, with the case of Honduras and Kenya.

The event was introduced by Pilar Avello from SIWI, then Emilene Martinez from the Open Government Partnership explained that the open government paradigm set the principles of transparency, citizen participation and accountability at the heart of policy making. She explained how the Open Government Partnership (OGP) provides a targeted mechanism for bringing together government officials and civil society to create specific commitments that improve water service delivery. It offers an important opportunity to move the water agenda forward and generate real momentum to improve government performance and recognisable benefits to citizens.

Marcos Mendiburu, international expert, highlighted that the water sector is typically focused on technical and management issues yet some of its greatest challenges relate to broader governance problems. This technical approach does not usually prioritize a citizen centric perspective over responsive service delivery, water use and quality challenges; nor does it emphasize the development of participatory forums for water providers, government regulators, water users and customers. 

The session included the presentations from Mr. Giovanni Espinal, Executive Director of the Honduran Regulatory Agency who has been implementing 2 commitments around improving supervision and control in the provision of water and sanitation services through citizen participation; and the experience of Ms. Sareen Malik from the African Civil Society Network for Water and Sanitation and her experience and challenges to include water commitments in the Kenyan Action Plan. Presenters shared their experience, successes and struggles in different phases of the National Action Plans (NAPS) making process: co-creation, implementation and completion of water

The session included time for participants to discuss around the need for a Community of Practice around water and open government. In this sense, Elizabeth Moses from WRI lead the discussion around the opportunities and challenges for this Community of Practice to be useful for the water community. Jacopo Gamba from WIN closed the session stressing the need of more collaboration to advance the open government agenda in the water sector in order to provide better service delivery that leaves no one behind.



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