Water Integrity News and Opportunities - March 2022

What is maladaptation?

Integrity to reduce risks in climate adaptation

In our changing world, as the climate crisis intensifies, it's essential to ensure that new funds for climate adaptation go where they are intended and most needed, especially in the water sector, which already receives a large share of climate funding. This implies putting in place relatively standard anti-corruption measures - financial controls, proactive risk assessments, open procurement - and enabling adequate tracking and monitoring of new funds.
A broader integrity approach is less common but also beneficial in early phases of project planning and design. This is especially important to tackle the emerging risk of maladaptation, newly acknowledged in the latest IPCC Working Group II reportClimate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability.
"Maladaptive responses to climate change can create lock-ins of vulnerability, exposure and risks that are difficult and expensive to change and exacerbate existing inequalities."

Instead of countering climate risks, maladaptation will increase or create new sets of risks. Limited participation, insufficient transparency and poor integrity in project planning can lead to maladaptation. An integrity approach for climate adaptation is therefore key, from project start.
With strong cooperation and a good understanding of risks throughout the project cycle, we in the water and sanitation sectors can lead the way and make sure 2022 truly is a year of climate accountability.

Read our primer with the Green Climate Fund on maladaptation and the need for integrity  →

Contribute a case to the climate governance integrity programme atlas  →

Open discussions

How does a utility become an integrity champion?

Where are the integrity efforts of water and sanitation utilities leading? How can we benchmark current status in integrity management and what does it take to progress?
With these questions in mind and new data at hand, we are opening up the discussion with a proposal for a new integrity maturity model for water and sanitation utilities. What's your take?

Discussion paper 1 - Five levels of integrity maturity: a model for water and sanitation utilities  →


Inadequate water and sanitation services in informal settlements are a major integrity failure. What can we do about it?

WIN partners met last November to share insight on work done to support service delivery in informal settlements in the context of the COVID19 pandemic. Emerging from the discussion is the clear need to see inadequate and inexistent services in informal settlements as an integrity failure. We must now recognise the rights and agency of residents and our responsibilities in gathering better data and delivering services, to not leave the door open to corruption.

Continue reading full summary of discussion →


How can regulators promote integrity and which challenges do they face in doing so?

In another Integrity Talk in November, WIN partners gather to discuss the experiences of regulators in fostering integrity. Three key messages jumped out from the discussion: integrity starts from within, clear rules and open information are key elements for anti-corruption and integrity, and there is a need to actively prioritise work towards marginalised communities.

Continue reading full summary of discussion →

More reading and resources

The film Into Dust, is available to watch for free on the streaming platform Waterbear. It tells the moving story of Perween Rahman who confronted water mafias and fought for accountability in water service delivery to Karachi's poorest.

The Action for Empowerment and Accountability (A4EA) research programme ended late last year and has just published final results. Although based on evidence from fragile contexts, the results are relevant more widely, especially those on women's political agency and how they are bypassed in the design of strategies, and on the need to examine governance from the viewpoint of citizens and their numerous intermediaries. Water and sanitation being basic services, the sector is a critical entry point for interactions between stakeholders and could lead the way in using these findings.

Also of interest, a new policy brief by the Basel Institute on Governance on collective action and the importance of studying informal corruption networks, which highlights how monitoring project implementation and outcomes can be effective anti-corruption tactics.


Join the WIN team!
We are currently looking for:

WIN Programme Coordinator for East Africa, Monitoring and Evaluation

Consultant - Integrity for the Water-Energy-Food Nexus


March 8 - Intl. Women's Day.
Are you ensuring women have visibility at events on all days of the year, not just in March? Here's why visibility matters and why it's an issue of integrity.

March 22 - World Water Day

We will be at the World Water Forum and the Forum alternatif mondial de l'eau (FAME). Contact us to meet or join us at these sessions:
FAME Session
Tues. March 22, 10:00 – 11:00 (GMT)
Sex for Money: The Cost for Access to Water
World Water Forum Session 4D3,
Thurs. March 24, 10:45-12:15 (GMT)
Launch of the Parliamentarian’s Handbook on the Human Right to water and sanitation

Also of interest:
Don't miss the webinar series on research results of the Accountability for Water programme. Next session on the role of donors is Thurs. March 10 at 11:00 (GMT)


Train your staff or partners! Two introductory online courses on water integrity available for partners and water and sanitation sector professionals:

Integridad en el sector de Agua y Saneamiento en América Latina - open now! Registration

Integrity basics: Understanding Corruption in Water and Sanitation - opening March 28th

Partner survey

We are inviting all WIN partners who work and interact with the WIN secretariat team in Berlin to share feedback and give input to our work plan and priorities.

Take part in our annual survey here (deadline March 15, 2022)

Many thanks for your time, ideas, and valuable feedback!

Feedback and requests

We're all ears and looking forward to sharing news and stories of integrity in the water and sanitation sectors. Tell us about your work, events, and job openings and don't hesitate to share your view on what's missing in this newsletter.

Contact the team at:
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