Principles Related to Process



Principle 4: Be clear and transparent about the water challenge(s) being addressed by the WSI, as well as the agreed scope and intended benefits.

Ensuring that WSIs serve the public interest requires being transparent about the water-related challenges that the WSI is striving to address, its long-term objectives, the activities that will be undertaken, the intended benefits, and intended beneficiaries. This information must be communicated not only among WSI participants but also among affected stakeholders on a regular basis.

A proper understanding of the challenges and opportunities for action requires engagement with affected stakeholders through an ongoing process that tracks and reports demonstrable progress toward positive outcomes and WSI objectives.

Poor initial problem analysis with insufficient diagnosis of underlying water-related or institutional challenges leads to inappropriate objectives and activities. This could undermine WSI impact and efficiency, or may privilege vested interests and thereby nurture or reinforce ongoing power imbalances in places with weak or corrupt governance. Being transparent about the challenges, scope, and benefits of a WSI both allows the public and affected stakeholders to monitor how well the WSI serves public interests and guards against those WSIs that serve a few vested interests.

Guiding Questions
  1. Has the problem analysis sufficiently clarified the root causes and nature of the challenges that the WSI seeks to address? Have the opportunities for progress and the risks facing the WSI in delivering these outcomes been properly understood?
  2. Have participants clearly defined the scope and objectives of the WSI, as well as its benefits for the public interest and for each participant?
  3. Has the justification for the WSI been effectively communicated to all participants and affected stakeholders? Do feedback channels exist?
  4. Have the changes that the WSI seeks to achieve in improving water resource management been effectively specified and communicated to all relevant stakeholders?
  5. Have participants had the opportunity to discuss, challenge, and improve the logic behind how the WSI will contribute to more SWM?


Principle 5: Be clear and transparent about how the WSI is to be governed.

WSIs need to establish internal governance mechanisms to ensure that decision making, financial management, and communications meet expectations and are fit for the intended purpose. Decision-making processes should be clear and ensure that all participants are able to engage in the process, and that participants providing resources and funding are not given undue influence or special rights. Sharing relevant information in a timely manner is essential to ensuring informed participation. Financial arrangements and systems, including expectations around remuneration and funding flows, should be specified and understood by all WSI participants. Internal audit systems should be established as necessary, and ideally financial arrangements should be disclosed publicly.

As well as supporting the WSI’s reputation, developing proper systems ensures that the WSI can deliver according to its stated purpose, that its funds are directed toward appropriate goals, and that decision making is well informed and balanced.

Guiding Questions
  1. Have participants agreed on management processes (e.g., timing, tasks, workplan, oversight, conflict resolution structures, budget reporting structures) and decision-making processes (including feedback mechanisms), and how to handle communications and financial issues?
  2. Have they all clearly expressed at the outset their expectations about remuneration and flows of funding? Were they properly informed about financial commitments and disbursement procedures?
  3. How is adherence to agreed procedures being effectively monitored? Are shortcomings properly addressed?


Principle 6: Track outcomes against the stated objectives of the WSI.

WSIs need to develop structures and procedures that support informed decision making, responsiveness to changing local conditions, continual learning, and improved practice to ensure that WSI participants can meet their stated objectives. Leading WSIs implement robust monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems that allow participants to determine the effectiveness of the initiative and to understand when unexpected outcomes occur or when new integrity risks arise. An exit strategy that explicitly clarifies when the WSI has met its objectives, or when circumstances demonstrate that entrenched integrity conditions render the WSI no longer viable, also holds WSIs accountable to specified conditions. Leading WSIs that pursue such accountability mechanisms communicate to affected stakeholders the outcomes of these evaluations (preferably third-party evaluations, where possible) and any consequent decisions about the course of the WSI.

Where there is an absence of proper channels to deliver on stated goals and/or inadequate M&E systems, the risk of dishonest claims and breached commitments or agreements is higher. The absence of an effective M&E mechanism may place a higher integrity risk on the WSI as participants may not be able to efficiently identify (new) threats facing the initiative or malpractice within the initiative.

Guiding Questions
  1. Are decision-making processes sufficiently informed by the goals of the WSI?
  2. Has an appropriate exit strategy been designed?
  3. Is an M&E system in place to track the progress of the WSI and readjust the course of the program as needed?
  4. Have agreed M&E mechanisms led to effective tracking of new integrity risks?
  5. Do communication mechanisms provide sufficient information on the performance of the WSI?


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