Increasing capacities for water integrity in East Africa

Jacob Baraza is a coordinator at Transparency International Kenya (TI Kenya) where he has worked, among other things, with the Transparency and Integrity in Service Delivery in Africa (TISDA) with a focus on water services.

The training of trainers (ToT), part of the Regional Water Integrity Capacity Building programme in sub-Saharan Africa by the UNDP Water Governance Facility (WGF) at the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), the Water Integrity Network (WIN) and Cap-Net, was held in Nairobi Kenya between 18th and 22nd of June, 2012. This training was a result of the need to develop capacities on water integrity and to create a pool of trainers able to continue this capacity building. This need has also been highlighted in the Global Corruption Report 2008 on the water sector, and expressed in the 2009 Water Integrity Network (WIN) surveys.

I was invited to attend the training because of the experience that I had had when working with Transparency International Kenya’s Citizen Demand Programme (TISDA Programme) in the Kenya water sector and also to share the methodology used for the water integrity study that was undertaken under the same programme. I was also able to get more knowledge on how to develop training and educational programmes on water integrity and how to use and promote the Water Integrity training manual in a more practical way.

The training was primarily targeting water managers, capacity builders, regulators and other water decision-makers at regional, national and local level, including various river basin organisations, as well as government and municipal entities. There was good representation from The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), South Africa Development Community (SADC) and East African Community (EAC). Of these, the countries represented were Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana, Zambia, South Africa, Nigeria and Senegal.

The training of trainers course is based on seven modules:

  1. Water governance
  2. Corruption in the water sector
  3. Identifying Corruption Risks
  4. Anti-Corruption Laws, institutions and Instruments
  5. Transparency and Access to information
  6. Accountability
  7. Integrity in Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM)

At the event, I was given the opportunity to share the TISDA Programme achievements and experiences with the participants. This proved to be an eye opener to participants from other countries about Kenya’s water situation and led to some interesting discussions.

It is envisaged that by increasing water integrity there will be a direct impact on socio-economic development and poverty reduction. Some of the issues that came out of the training that I attended were that corruption is quite rampant in public procurement and this is an area that should be given a lot more attention to achieve real value for money. It was also noted by the participants that, whilst the various countries they represented had generally good water policies and legislations, the biggest challenge is their implementation.

It is of great importance to note that all the participants acknowledged that their expectations were met despite the fact that there was limited time to share everything as it was outlined in the training manual. For example the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) topic was not extensively tackled and more intensive training on effective facilitation skills would have been useful.

As the programme is being rolled out, it is expected that the ToTs will help in the facilitation of different sessions during Water Integrity workshops that will be held in the region as part of the programme. As an organisation, we at TI Kenya were called upon to support with our vast knowledge in anti-corruption measures in water governance, in particular in Kenya.

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