Corruption and Integrity

Water is a foundation for development. Without it, there’s no economic growth, no industry, agriculture or cities. Disease and infant mortality thrive. The hours lost daily fetching water keep women out of work and children out of school. By diverting resources from where they’re most needed, corruption exacerbates the already difficult challenges.

Corruption in water costs lives. Investing in water infrastructure and governance means jobs, agriculture, health, education and environmental protection. It’s a straightforward path to progress; yet, too often the path is blocked by corruption. That’s why there is a need to address corruption risks, increase transparency and accountability in the water sector. Coalition building and partnerships are essential to generate knowledge, capacity and awareness to tackle corruption in water. Read more on corruption in the water sector.

 

Water Integrity Tools

The Annotated Water integrity Scan is a diagnostic tool for multi-stakeholder workshops, and has three main objectives:

  • Establish an overview of the integrity of different sub-sectors of the water sector, to highlight areas which are vulnerable to corruption

  • Identify priority areas for action to enhance water integrity

  • Increase awareness about the water integrity situation and stimulate improvement

The tool includes an implementation guide on the organisation, preparation and implementation of an AWIS workshop, which describes each step of the process and makes suggestions for follow-up.

 

Organisations working on Water Integrity

Transparency International (TI) is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation dedicated to fighting corruption. Active in nearly 100 countries and on the international stage, TI raises awareness of the devastating effects of corruption, and works with governments, businesses and international organisations to tackle corruption.

Gateway is about collecting, sharing and expanding knowledge on corruption assessment. It allows those who wish to measure corruption to match their needs with existing diagnostic tools.

Transparency International India (TII) is the accredited India chapter of Transparency International and is part of the Asia Pacific Forum comprising 20 nations. TII is a non-government, non-party and not-for-profit organisation of Indian citizens with professional, social, industrial or academic experience seeking to promote transparent and ethical governance and to eradicate corruption.

The UNDP Water Governance Facility at SIWI (WGF) provides strategic water governance support to developing countries to advance socially equitable, environmentally sustainable and economically efficient management of water resources and water and sanitation services to improve the livelihoods of poor people.

Tool sheets: A brief about various tools for assessing integrity in the water sector.

 

Integrity pacts: This pact is to ensure integrity in procurement processes, and has two main components:

  • a written agreement between the government and all bidders to refrain from bribery and collusion,

  • a monitoring system that provides for independent oversight and increased government accountability of the public contracting process.

Integrity pacts implementation guides have been developed specifically for the water sector.

 

The advocacy guide is a toolbox for advocating and campaigning on water integrity action.

 

The guide comprises five modules with various engaging, stimulating ideas and hands-on exercises for individuals and groups who want to get started in advocating for water integrity.

 

TAP risks

TAP risks is a tool that allows gaining a better understanding of the integrity of water service provision. The tool identifies relevant stakeholders and assesses the integrity of their relationships in terms of transparency, accountability and participation (TAP). 

 

Citizen report cards

Citizen report cards are an interactive learning tool is designed to assist individuals and organizations interested in carrying out a Citizen Report Card (CRC) study in the water and sanitation sector.

The methodology collects user’s actual feedback on public services on selective indicators to make the provider accountable for any lapses or the poor condition of services. The commonly used indicators are access, usage, quality/reliability, hidden costs (including bribery) and level of satisfaction.

 

Useful Links

Reports, articles, papers

Videos

Photos, slideshows

Training manual on water integrity

This training manual deals with the issue of integrity and anti-corruption in the water sector – one of the least addressed areas in the governance of water resources and services. It has been developed to assist in building institutional capacity, with water managers and other water decision-makers as the primary target group.

 

Water Management Transparency Index

This tool is designed to evaluate the level of transparency of water management. It is based on 80 indicators which look at:

  • general information about the relevant water agency,

  • public relations transparency in planning processes,

  • transparency in the use of water resources,

  • financial transparency, and

  • transparency in contracting

In addition, sase information sheets and tool sheets to support the use of this tool have been developed.

 

Corruption assessment in basic services

Corruption assessment in basic services are tools and methods which aim to diagnose corruption and/or corruption risks in the delivery of education, health and water and sanitation services. The scope of tools includes analyses of:

  • the overall political/governance situation in a sector

  • the flow of resources from government to service providers

  • the role of and relationships between different actors (e.g. service providers, service users, government officials)

  • specific processes within the broader system (e.g. health insurance, university admissions) and

  • particular corruption problems (e.g. teacher absenteeism, informal payments to doctors)

ASHWAS manual: This process handbook  is to serve as a useful template for those planning to embark on a participatory household water and sanitation survey. The handbook has detailed out the scope of planning and execution along with the resources, skills and time needed at each stage of the survey.

Water Integrity Network (WIN)

The Water Integrity Network (WIN) is an action-oriented coalition of organisations and individuals promoting water integrity to reduce and prevent corruption in the water sector.

WIN’s vision is a world with equitable and sustained access to water and a clean environment, which is no longer threatened by corruption, greed, dishonesty and willful malpractice. 

WIN’s mission is to increase integrity levels and reduce corruption in the water sector through a pro-poor and pro-equity focus. It works with partners and influences decision-makers to facilitate active multi-stakeholder coalitions and to build capacities for the use of tools and strategies for water integrity at all levels.

WIN’s work does not just concern preventing corruption, a big enough challenge in itself, but also ensuring that the poor participate meaningfully in decision-making processes and benefit in particular from the solutions put in place.

The WIN secretariat is hosted by Transparency International (TI) in Berlin, Germany. To know more about WIN, please visit: http://www.waterintegritynetwork.net. Also read WINs blog.

 

 

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It's the rich farmer who benefits from the government's loan waiver. As long as moneylenders lend money to the poor farmer, he would continue to be mired in debt.

The Devendra Fadnavis government in Maharashtra has decided to expand the coverage of Rs 34,022-crore farm loan waiver scheme to extend the benefit to farmers indebted since 2009. The government had earlier said 89 lakh farmers would benefit from the scheme. The expansion of the scheme's ambit means the number of farmers, as well as the amount, will rise. Though the state is yet to come up with new figures, it is estimated that the number of farmers to be benefited may go up by 10 lakh and the total loan amount by Rs 4,000 crore. 

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As cities spread wide, grey infrastructure projects flout green norms to provide affordable housing for all.

Far in the distance, towards the edge of Noida and Greater Noida flows the Hindon river amidst clusters of modern highrise buildings. A few years ago, the landscape here was more countrified and quite distinct from the low rise neghbourhoods of Delhi dotted with its numerous parks and abundant institutional spaces. 

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While informal water market plays an important role in meeting the water needs of peri-urban Hyderabad, its power dynamics with the authorities determine its efficiency.

The informal water market plays a crucial role in meeting the drinking and domestic water security of peri-urban communities. The increasing reliance on private informal water vendors in all our study villages speaks of their significance. Informal players like private RO companies, households or individual farmers selling water, however, do not operate in isolation, but in agreement with the formal players.

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While Kovaipudur is finding it difficult to survive another season with no groundwater and an indifferent government, the solution is in harvesting every drop of rain it gets.

With its pleasant climate and serene environment, Kovaipudur, a quaint township located in Coimbatore, was once known to be a haven for retired people. Kovaipudur is living out a nightmare now, one that has snowballed over the years. It is painful to even picture what it is like to reside in an area that receives corporation water supply for about half an hour to maybe one hour once in 20 or 30 days. But that’s what living in this town means these days.

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Privatisation of common property resources like water compromises basic human rights.

The serious implications of privatisation of natural resources like water, which is often brought under the overarching umbrella of market reforms, often evade us. There is a qualitative difference in the state withdrawing from the social sector as opposed to the economic sector, and in the increased privatisation of private commodities as opposed to that of a rightly owned common property resource like water.

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Villages in peri-urban Hyderabad rely on various informal water sources for their daily needs.

In the first hour of our field work in Malkaram--another village in peri-urban Hyderabad--for the project Ensuring Water Security in Metropolitan Hyderabad, one thing became very evident. This village is much poorer than our other study villages--Mallampet, Kokapet and Adibatla. There was no development in or around the area. This was also probably the reason why there was no informal water selling activity in this village.

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Wetlands play a major role in the sustenance of lives and livelihoods in Kashmir. Urbanisation, however, spells doom for the "paradise on earth".

When torrential downpour submerged thousands of villages and claimed about 300 lives in Jammu & Kashmir in September 2014, loss of wetlands was cited as one of the reasons that aggravated the impact of the natural disaster. Wetlands are areas where the water level is close to the surface of the land. Mangroves, marshes and swamps are some of the examples of wetlands.

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A hard-hitting documentary film ‘Kakkoos’ looks at the politics behind the banned practice of manual scavenging and how the civil society connives to keep it alive.

Kakkoos, a compelling documentary film on manual scavenging in Tamil Nadu is all about showing the practice as it is without any filter. The pictures are shocking and watching them is easier said than done -- toilets teeming with shit, sanitary napkins lying scattered, people collecting faeces with their uncovered hands, cleaning hazardous medical waste, handling maggot-ridden corpses and much more.

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Communities have as much part to play in protecting natural resources as the people in power. This case of a disappearing lake proves it.

Mallampet is a village in Quthbullapur Mandal. It is located about 5–6 km from the municipal boundaries of the Hyderabad city. Like many other villages, Mallampet too has witnessed the disappearance of its lakes, but not all of them are from natural causes. A close study of the political nexus has revealed the interesting case of lake encroachment.

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From increasing health issues among residents to declining forest produce, coal mining in Chhattisgarh has devastating outcomes.

It was in the late 90s that Raigarh emerged as the hub for power, coal mining and sponge iron in Chhattisgarh. The coalfield in Mand Raigarh is spread over an area of more than 1,12,000 hectares with an estimated 21,117 metric tonnes of coal. 

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