Social Accountability Monitoring in Water Resource Management

In 2009 we partnered with WaterAid, Daraja, Tawasnet and Shahidi wa Maji to pioneer social accountability monitoring in water resource management.

Through participatory research with communities across Tanzania we identified who was winning and who was losing from water resource management performance. We found that it was the poor and vulnerable who’s water use was unrecognized in the eyes of the law, that they were suffering most from gross pollution and that they were losing out in water resource conflicts. We traced these problems to restricted functioning of the Basin Water Authorities and found that they weren’t receiving their operational budgets on time and that the Basin water Boards designed to oversee their work were not representative of stakeholders in the basin but rather that membership was skewed towards vested interests.

Our Tanzanian colleagues reported these findings to the Joint Water Sector Review set up to monitor the success of the $600M donor support programme on water in Tanzania. The World Bank called our work ‘a vital oversight mechanism’ and the Ministry of Water said it was a ‘welcome wakeup call’. Formal commitments were made to address the problems we identified.

We will repeat the research in 2012 to see what progress has been made and we are now seeking funding to develop a transferable methodology for use elsewhere.

Download a copy of our report here: Tanzania Water Sector Equity Report 2009