• CS1 Good Governance

    < Priority for Action 3.3 Back to list Condition for Success CS2 >
    Condition for Success CS1
    “Good Governance”
    Coordinator: Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
    Core group members
    Water Integrity Network
    International Office for Water


    The current “water crisis” is not a crisis of scarcity but a crisis of mismanagement, with strong governance features. The water sector is affected by numerous external drivers (population growth, changes in consumption and production patterns etc.) and has profound externalities on other policy domains (health, poverty alleviation, agriculture, energy etc.). In this context, achieving the Millennium Development Goals and facing water global challenges despite economic recession and increasing environmental pressure, requires innovative policy to “do better with less” and overcome barriers to effective implementation on-the-ground. Improving water governance is therefore a key topic in the political agenda worldwide, and a prerequisite for fairer, cleaner, sustainable and efficient water resources management and service delivery.

    In many developed, developing, water-rich and water-scarce countries, water governance is still in a state of confusion. Regardless of institutional characteristics (federal v. unitary), common challenges usually observed include the followings: fragmented institutional structures, unclear allocation of roles and responsibilities, questionable resource allocation, patchy financial management, low implementation capacity at local level, weak accountability and transparency, lack of knowledge and awareness of rights, imprecise regulatory, legislative and integrity frameworks, unpredictable investment climate for private actors, and poor performance measurement. These governance challenges are more or less acute across and within countries, but frequently proceed from the water sector intrinsic characteristics and complex and fragmented institutional settings. Hence the need to investigate the water “black-box” to understand the exercise of political, economic and administrative authority at different territorial levels, i.e. who is in charge of what and how water is managed.

    Well aware of the absence of “optimum” or universal blueprint to achieve “good governance” in the water sector, this Core Group seeks to propose concrete, measurable and achievable solutions for creating the conditions of success in terms of (i) effective public governance and institutions, (ii) integrated management and (iii) better integrity and transparency in the water sector. To do so, the working group will build on existing evidence, tools, methodologies, experimentations, and good practices worldwide to design realistic roadmaps and action plans:

    • including diagnostic tools to identify institutional, legislative and regulatory bottlenecks and adopt relevant place-based policy responses;
    • encouraging decision-making that integrate actors at international, national, local, basin and sub-basin levels;
    • fostering the adoption of relevant mechanisms capacity building, monitoring and evaluation;
    • enhancing IWRM based on national frameworks, implemented at different hydrological levels, and integrating a clear vision of water resources uses, evolutions, quantity and quality;
    • promoting relevant instruments for water security diagnoses in view of demographic, geographic and urbanisation challenges;
    • supporting the promotion of integrity while mapping potential corruption risks and sharing nation-specific experience in tackling them

    The related targets have been set up as key steps to achieve the abovementioned outcomes.

    TARGET TSG Coordinator(s) Regional Links*
    Target 1: By 20xx, all countries will have adopted institutionalized and informed participation mechanisms allowing stakeholders (local authorities, NGOs, users) to influence decision-making at all relevant scales and in an integrated manner Suez Asia Pacific
    Target 2: By 20xx, all countries will have adopted governance tools, indicators and mechanisms for performance measurement (service delivery) to monitor and evaluate water policies; and all countries will have put in place at national and local level processes for capacity building on the governance tools application French Scientific and Technical Association for Water and Environment
    Target 3: By 2021, increase by 30% the number of river basin management plans (analysis of initial status and main issues) International Network of Basin Organisations
    Target 4: By 20xx, increase the number of country with water security diagnoses and governance tools, based on existing regulatory and legislative (local, national, international) frameworks and IWRM mechanisms UNESCO Africa
    Target 5: By 20xx, X countries will have committed to promote integrity in the water sector, diagnose/map existing or potential corruption risks, and ensure that anti-corruption policies are well implemented and effective in the water sector Transparency International

    Water Integrity Network
    Target 6: By 20xx, have all countries set-up guidelines for a mechanism to provide public information about their water infrastructure plans (financial, technical, and socioeconomic impacts.) Stockhölm International Water Institute/United Nations Development Programme Water Governance Facility
    < Priority for Action 3.3 Back to list Condition for Success CS2 >

    Get involved and contribute!

    Visit our Platform of Solutions to send your contribution to the relevant Target and Solutions Group.


    * This column indicates when thematic and regional targets are matching and have a good potential for mutual contribution and partnership.

    Bulle En

    Post-Forum Highlights

    The Forum outcomes

    Submit your solution - solutionsforwater.org

    Join our mailing list