Ravi Narayanan celebrates one year as Chair of the International Steering Committee

Just over a year ago, in November 2010, Ravi Narayanan was elected chair of the WIN International Steering Committee during their meeting in Bangkok, Thailand. WIN would like to congratulate him for his excellent work and support of WIN so far.

During the November 2011 ISC meeting in Bonn, we took a few moments to talk to Ravi about his experience as a Chair for the past year, his perspectives on WIN and his vision for future water integrity action.

About joining the WIN movement
It wasn’t until around 2010 that Ravi found out more about WIN, when he was introduced to it by Jack Moss, fellow ISC member. “When I first heard about WIN, I didn’t know what to expect about the scope of work of WIN”, he tells. Ravi’s experiences have previously seen him involved with ActionAid and as Chief Executive of WaterAid. Therefore, governance issues in water and sanitation has always had high priority for him. He thus saw WIN as an opportunity to work on good governance, more specifically on integrity, transparency, accountability and participation.

Understanding WIN
Ravi has over the years gotten to know WIN better. He believes that WIN’s structure, linked toTransparency International, one of the founding members and host of WIN, enables a stronger focus on content and implementation. This results in greater potential to reach out and for partners to get involved in water integrity projects.

About his role as Chair of WIN
Ravi didn’t expect to be chosen as the Chair of WIN so early on. He had been a member of the ISC for about a year when it was suggested that he take over after the first Chair of WIN, Håkan Tropp, was stepping down. “This is still a learning curve for me”, Ravi explains.

Of course, all projects and organisations face challenges. When it comes to WIN, Ravi acknowledges its timeliness and its successful awareness-raising at a global level, but points out that, as a consequence, WIN is facing mounting pressure to meet certain, often high, expectations.

Looking forward
Looking ahead Ravi points out that the future of WIN depends on its ability to forge and strengthen alliances and partnerships. WIN has been developing a set of tools as well as promoting some developed by others, but water integrity will not improve if these tools are not effectively and strategically implemented by organisations, countries and regions.

He adds that to this end WIN has developed positive links with several important bilateral donors who have recognised the importance of the issue of ‘water integrity’ and are supporting WIN in its efforts to build effective partnerships in Africa. New initiatives are expected in India which should help to broaden WIN’s efforts in Asia as well. Ravi ends by explaining that these are good portents for the future and are the result of the efforts of a small but hard working and committed team at the Secretariat led by tenacious and energetic leadership.

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