2.3 Corrupted Knowledge or Knowledge on Corruption? Multi-Stakeholder Research to Promote Water Inte

Maria Jacobson, Erik Nielsen, Doris Bäsler, Kibriyo Jumaeva, Dang Hoang Giang, Cate Nimanya, Mona Salem, Hǻkan Tropp, 14th IACC, Workshop report, Sustainability, Natural Resources

 

Short Workshop Report Form

Number and title of workshop: WS 2.3 Corrupted Knowledge or Knowledge on Corruption? Lessons Learned from using Collaborate Evidence Based Multi- Stakeholder Research to Promote Water Integrity
 
Coordinator: Erik Nielsen (WIN) / Maria Jacobson (SIWI)

Date and time of workshop: 11 November 2010, 17h30 – 19h30
 
Moderator: Dr Håkan Tropp, SIWI
 
Rapporteur: Doris Bäsler, Transparency International
 
Panellists:
- Kibriyo Jumaeva, Programme Analyst on governance, UNDP country office, Tajikistan
- Dr Dang Hoang Giang, Vice-Director, Center for Community Support Development Studies, Viet Nam
- Cate Nimanya, Executive Director, NETWAS, Uganda
- Mona Salem, Information and Decision Support Centre, Egypt
- Dr Erik Nielsen, Manager of Country Based Programs, Water Integrity Network, Germany / Maria Jacobson, Project Officer, SIWI
 
Main Issues Covered

In the opening presentation Erik Nielsen and Maria Jacobsen explored why and how corruption in the water sector can be addressed through collaborative multi-stakeholder research. To prevent corruption from the outset, an understanding of local contexts and seeking to influence policy through multi-stakeholder research is imperative. Multistakeholder ownership (platform creation for non-confrontational exchange at multiple levels) is key to anchoring anti corruption efforts within the existing national policy frameworks (to promote harmonisation), and to develop action-based change programs (integrated with existing sector priorities and internally driven). 
 
Kibriyo Jumaeva highlighted how corruption is gravely affecting Tajikistan’s development agenda. A failure to translate oral and written commitments to the fight against corruption into practice; low civil society involvement; weak institutional capacity; and a weak judiciary further exacerbate the problem in a country where, despite its richness in water, only approximately half of the population has access to safe drinking water. An ongoing Water Integrity Risk Assessment is used to map potential corruption risks and rank them based on incidence and impact, applying stakeholder mapping, followed by focus group discussions and the validation of preliminary findings by decision makers to ensure ownership. 
 
Dr Dang Hoang Giang noted that Vietnam was doing worse in most economic and corruption indicators than other countries in East Asia and the Pacific. Political freedom is severely restrained, with the press state-owned, and civil society still being in its early stages of development. Corruption is on the rise alongside economic growth but difficult to address head-on. Against this background, a citizen score card approach rather than an outright corruption assessment has been chosen as the most appropriate tool to raise awareness around integrity and accountability in the delivery of water services. Political constraints will be avoided by addressing corruption through service quality, and giving citizens a voice within an established multi-stakeholder platform. The findings will later be used to rank provinces covering an annual survey in all 63 provinces. 
 
In Uganda, as presented by Cate Nimanya, weak downward accountability in local governments and poor community participation has contributed to the national water crisis. The environment for evidence-based research is however conducive and it was against this background that a Risk Opportunity Mapping Study combined with a National Baseline Survey on water sector corruption were implemented. The research followed extensive consultation and was guided by a multi-stakeholder good governance working group chaired by the government. Recommendations have been shaped to inform a good governance action plan for the sector. The project’s non-confrontational approach helped to build ownership and ensured balanced and accurate analysis with a focus on institutional weaknesses rather than ‘naming and shaming’ of individuals. The implementation of the action plan has been institutionalised through the oversight of the multi stakeholder good governance working group. 
 
In Egypt, as presented by Mona Salem, the government’s commitment to fight corruption is on the increase but civil society engagement remains weak. A national CPI launched in 2007 evaluates perception of corruption in 24 public institutions and sectors and ranks the 26 governorates of the country. An in-depth sector corruption assessment is now being carried out in the water sector, focusing on indicators including transparency, accountability, effectiveness, participation and the rule of law. With approval from the concerned ministries, professional consultants and task force working groups assure the representation of all stakeholders in identifying data sources and choosing the appropriate research methodology. Government bureaucracy has been identified as a potential challenge to data collection. 
 
Key lessons identified in the case study presentations:
- Understanding of national context is crucial (political environment, level of corruption, space for civil society voice)
- Local facilitators must be legitimate and trusted by all stakeholders 
- Government engagement is critical
- Multi-stakeholder processes are time-consuming, even if worth it in the end
- Strategies for implementing and follow up need to be in place
- Institutional sustainability is essential to maintaining national ownership
- Donor support is critical both at a financial and political level
 
Questions from the floor and answers from the panel focused on the implementation status of the different projects, whether methodologies and tools were available online, the nature of specific corruption challenges in the water sector, the added value of international consultants, the need to effectively manage time in research for efforts and money not to be wasted, the equality of access with the poor being the most disadvantaged, links to organised crime and the challenge of capture by local leaders (as well as government), and grand vs petty corruption in the sector. 
 
Main Outcomes

The workshop agreed that the following were essential to effectively address corruption in the water sector:
- Need for better evidence and information
- Need for strong ownership
- Importance of anchoring anti corruption programmes in national policy frameworks
- Importance of going beyond the water sector – work with anti-corruption commissions, ombudsman offices, procurement offices etc
- Studies and surveys alone are not enough, but need to be translated into effective recommendations and action
 
Main Outputs

NTR
 
Recommendations, Follow-up Actions
 
- Share available methodologies and tools
- Include list of relevant websites / online resources in final workshop report
 
Workshop Highlights (including interesting quotes)

NTR
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