Sunday 27 July 2008


1. Women in Europe for a Common Future has now published the report of the meeting held in Brussels on 29 January (see blog of 30 January): European Sanitation Policies and Practises in the International Year of Sanitation 2008: Finding solutions for more than 20 million citizens who lack safe and affordable sanitation.

2. All the PowerPoint presentations made at the international conference ‘Sanitation Challenge' (see blog of 21 May) are now available here.

3. Governance: The Global Water Forum has just published Water Financing and Governance − quote: “The financial needs [of the water sector] will not be met without major reforms in water governance. By improving water governance the enabling environment for investment will improve as risks, commercial and political, will be better understood and addressed.”

4. The Assembly of the African Union (see blog of 14 June) has just posted the Sharm El-Sheikh Commitments for Accelerating the Achievement of Water and Sanitation Goals in Africa − see pages 30−32 of this file. “Motherhood and apple pie”, of course. Actions speak louder than Words, so we’ll wait and see what Africa actually does to help itself to achieve its MDG WatSan targets.
Update 30 July: The International Institute for Sustainable Development has just published a Briefing Note on the Outcomes of the Eleventh African Union Summit, including details of the Sharm El-Sheikh commitments on achieving the WatSan targets.

Thursday 24 July 2008

More on Governance

Further to my blog of 15 June on Sanitation Governance, there are a few more very useful websites: (1) the UNDP Water Governance Facility − “Governance systems determine who gets what water, when, and how, and decide who has the right to water and related services”, (2) the Water Integrity Network, (3) UNICORN − see its water page, and (4) EMPOWERS, the Euro-Med Participatory Water Resources Scenarios (active in Egypt, Jordan, and Palestine).

A very interesting paper was published in Water Policy last year: The role of governance in countering corruption: an African case study.

There’s also Tracing Power and Influence in Networks: Net-Map as a Tool for Research and Strategic Network Planning published last month by the International Food Policy Research Institute − all about multistakeholder water governance. There’s a Net-Map toolbox blog as well.

Latest JMP report

The WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme has just published its latest report Progress on Drinking-water and Sanitation: Special Focus on Sanitation. It's a "must read" and hugely more informative than earlier JMP reports. Dr Margaret Chan, the Director-General of WHO, says: "We have today a full menu of low-cost technical options for the provision of sanitation in most settings. More and more governments are determined to improve health by bringing water and sanitation to their poorest populations. If we want to break the stranglehold of poverty, and reap the multiple benefits for health, we must address water and sanitation." Quite so.

Corruption in the Water Sector

Cambridge University Press has just published the Global Corruption Report 2008: Corruption in the Water Sector, compiled by Transparency International. Here’s what Transparency International says about it (here):

More than 1 billion people live with inadequate access to safe drinking water, with dramatic consequences for lives, livelihoods and development. Transparency International’s Global Corruption Report 2008 demonstrates in its thematic section that corruption is a cause and catalyst for this water crisis, which is likely to be further exacerbated by climate change. Corruption affects all aspects of the water sector, from water resources management to drinking water services, irrigation and hydropower. In this timely report, scholars and professionals document the impact of corruption in the sector, with case studies from all around the world offering practical suggestions for reform.

The second part of the Global Corruption Report 2008 provides a snapshot of corruption-related developments in thirty-five countries from all world regions. The third part presents summaries of corruption-related research, highlighting innovative methodologies and new empirical findings that help our understanding of the dynamics of corruption and in devising more effective anti-corruption strategies.

My reaction: What a read, what a sickening read! [And you can download the whole report here.]