Integrity and the next generation
This blog entry was written by Janek Hermann-Friede, Monitoring, Programme Planning, Focal Point East Africa Coordinator at WIN.
UNESCO-IHE organised a week long introduction into the topic water integrity for its new batch of Msc students in October 2013. This course was organised in follow-up to the Water Integrity Forum that took place in June 2013. The whole week was put into the context of the Delft statement on water integrity. General concepts of integrity and good water governance were introduced to a group of approximately 150 young and mid-career water professionals. Among different presentations, an analysis of integrity issues in water resources management in the Netherlands was discussed to showcase that the topic was relevant globally and not only in developing countries.
WIN-S introduced the Water Integrity Management Toolbox to the group of students. This helped to specify and concretise some of the abstract concepts on water integrity and resulted in a lively discussion on adaptation needs, questions of patronage in the water sector and how some of the integrity issues in water supply could be addressed. Several students expressed their appreciation for the hands-on nature of the integrity management toolbox and for the overall approach to address integrity issues at an institutional level.
During the concluding discussion of the integrity course some of the students shared experiences on corruption in the water sector from their home countries. Other told stories about how they faced delicate situations and managed to find solutions. One student for example explained how in a previous job he found out that a water utility was using expired chemicals. This was widely known and accepted within the company. He approached the managing director explaining the risks and potential impact such practices may have on the health of the community. This helped convincing those responsible to use safe products for the treatment of their water.