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Using the Integrity Management toolbox to support SMEs in the Zambian water sector

By Marta Rychlewski, Research Officer, Water Integrity Network

”The Integrity Management Toolbox workshop has opened my mind to the mistakes related to low integrity we commit in our company”, said one of the participants of a workshop on integrity management in the water sector for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), organized in Lusaka, Zambia in early July.

The workshop, facilitated by WIN, CEWAS (International Centre for Water Management Services) and the Water and Sanitation Association of Zambia (WASAZA), aimed to make SME managers more aware of how they can make their business benefit from implementing integrity measures.

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Video: Enhancing integrity in Water Stewardship Initiatives

Water stewardship Initiatives (WSI) involving the public, private sector and civil society are increasingly being started to address shared challenges in managing water resources.

We believe integrity is a crucial building block to enable equitable and sustainable outcomes from these Water Stewardship Initiatives.

To further develop integrity and transparency in WSIs, we therefore partnered with the UN Global Compact CEO Water Mandate and with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Water Witness International, Pegasys Institute, and Partnerships in Practice, Ltd, to carry out an applied research project aimed at developing an integrity management framework and practical supporting guidance for WSIs.

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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. Read More…

Integrity, the private water utilities and why it matters

This blog entry was written by Janek Hermann-Friede, Monitoring, Programme Planning, Focal Point East Africa Coordinator at WIN. 

At Savern Trent Water a corruption case emerged as a result of whistle-blowing in 2004. We are talking about the second-largest water company in Great Britain. Following the scandal a change in management resulted in far reaching reforms to enhance integrity of the company, tackling processes, behaviours and values simultaneously. Prosecution resulted in a fine for Savern Trent in 2008. Just a year later, the company was awarded ‘Utility of the Year’ in recognition of their reform efforts (for more information on this case see Dietz, G. and Gillespie, N. 2012). This clearly shows one of the main benefits that a company can gain from enhanced corporate integrity – a good reputation. However there are several other ways how integrity pays off.

Planta de Caraz, Peru. Copyright Janek Hermann-Friede

Planta de Caraz, Peru. Copyright Janek Hermann-Friede

But let’s first take a step back and look at the role of the private sector in water supply and wastewater management. In the 1990s donors and multinational companies increasingly pushed towards privatisation of service provision. Various failed concessions led to public opposition and an ideologically driven debate. More recently there has been a trend to commercialise the operations of water providers in a socially acceptable way. This means that service providers are operated and managed like private entities but consider marginalised groups and the poor adequately when it comes to tariff setting, investment decisions, customer management etc. In consequence, some of the public attention shifted from the providers to companies that consume large amounts of water. A recent European Citizens’ Initiative opposing the European Commission’s proposal for a Directive on the award of concession contracts for water supply and wastewater services shows however that private sector engagement remains a relevant and sensitive topic.

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