Session 2 Why conducting an integrity vulnerability assessment in the water sector? By Marie Laberge UNDP Oslo Governance Centre
Overview Why is it important to tackle corruption in the water sector? Why is it important to collect empirical evidence on the causes and effects of corruption in the water sector? Brief overview of the proposed assessment approach (Sector Integrity Vulnerability Assessment – ‘SIVA’) Workshop agenda
1. Why is it important to tackle corruption in the water sector?
Tajikistan is the 5th most water-rich country in the world... 93% of the urban population has access to drinking water But in the rural areas, where 72% of the population lives, only 47% have access to drinking water The problem is one of governance, not availability.
What does corruption ‘look like’ in the water sector? Some typical examples… Distorted site selection of boreholes or abstraction points for irrigation Collusion & favoritism in public procurement Falsified meter reading Giving preferential treatment for repairs in exchange for ‘speed money’
Corruption in water puts lives and livelihoods at risk
With some 70% of all infrastructure needing reconstruction, there has been a serious deterioration in drinking water quality health threat to the population
Only 40-50% of treatment systems are effective
As a result: Waterborne infectious diseases prevalent in rural areas
Challenges are growing and problem is increasingly urgent High costs to society (human, economic & environmental)
Why is the water sector especially vulnerable to corruption? Water governance spills across agencies Viewed as a technical issue Involves large flows of public funds Water is scarce and becoming more so
What are some key lessons from tackling corruption in the water sector? Prevent corruption from outset Understand local context, otherwise reform will fail Support the poor Reform must come from above and below
2. Why is it important to collect empirical evidence on the causes and impacts of corruption?
Because of the sensitive nature of anti-corruption reforms, credible research (rather than anecdotes) is essential. Good policy and good remedy can only come from good diagnosis Numerous plans & strategies to improve water services have been adopted in Tajikistan, but their implementation is lagging behind First step to demonstrate progress is to collect evidence, in order to be able to measure this progress!
Monitoring practices in Tajikistan No standard reporting/monitoring requirement in the water sector (except for tax & book-keeping purposes): Data is collected by various (6) agencies independently, without any coordination between them Data is collected mainly on the water supply system (water quality & quantity) – but not on access (e.g. No data collected on the distance between households and water sources) Data is unreliable Database are incomplete Even data collection on financial flows is unavailable Big gap between the picture emerging from statistics and what is actually experienced on the ground
Evidence can serve many purposes...
Evidence can serve many purposes: To inform reform strategies to reduce corruption risks (policymaking) To raise public intolerance to corruption (advocacy) “Reforms must come from above and below...” Different purposes different types of data different audiences different dissemination strategies
Data to identify specific target groups, to describe local access conditions & implementation process, tomeasure performance against targets Data showing need for service & impact of service provided Data to define problems (to confirm requests /complaints from users) Data on costs & resources needed Data to identify target groups, to describe steps involved, costs & resources needed, progress & impact
3. Overview of the proposed assessment approach: Sector Integrity Vulnerability Assessment (‘SIVA’)
Drawing from the experience of the Water Integrity Network with ‘water integrity studies’ BUT – We are only presenting a ‘menu of options’ Does not mean simply following predefined steps like in a cookbook! How to adapt international experiences to the Tajik context?
Four key principles: Evidence-based approach: To depersonalize & depoliticize the fight against corruption Based on multiple sources of evidence (for triangulation), and mix of qualitative & quantitative research methods Conducted in collaboration with both water consumers & providers Create ownership through partnership
Overview of the proposed assessment approach: ‘SIVA’ Rather than measuring the incidence of corruption, let’s focus on the causes of corruption: wrong institutional incentives, lack of accountability, lack of public info & transparency 4 advantages of the proposed approach: Helps to pinpoint specific areas / interactions where corruption occurs Provides a guide into ‘what can be done’ By ‘ranking’ risks, helps to identify priority areas for reform Can be used for monitoring change over time
Four steps: Mapping the ‘potential’ corruption risks for each ‘step’ in the provision of water Identify danger signs (‘red flags’) to watch out for: they alert decision-makers, investigators or the public to the possibility of corrupt practices Find empirical evidence (through surveys & analysis of objective data sources) of corruption risks and ‘rank’ them based on incidence & impact Establish a monitoring system to track the most critical ‘red flags’ on a regular basis
How to rank ‘corruption risks’: The risk quadrant
Preliminary lessons learned from international experience Engage stakeholders from the outset Develop national ownership Partnership with government is critical Collaborate with committed, legitimate, respected local partner National political enabling environment ... Or else, integrity refroms can backfire and eventually even increase corruption!
Overview of the workshop agenda How to measure corruption: ‘the basics’ Mapping corruption risks & identifying ‘red flags’ in two sub-sectors: WSS & WRM (irrigation) ‘Internal’ and ‘external’ methodologies for collecting evidence How to adapt these methodologies to the Tajik context? How to develop a sustainable monitoring system? How to develop a mitigation plan? How to design a communication strategy? Next steps