Secure Water, Empowered Citizens: The Essential Role of Social Accountability
Stockholm World Water Week 2016, Monday 29th August
Truly inclusive growth will transform stakeholder relationships and enable “beneficiaries” to become actors taking a seat at the table alongside government institutions, service providers and other water users in decision-making about water. This will be essential as global efforts to achieve the SDGs must balance opportunities for economic growth, rising demands for water and the challenges of climate change with dramatically increased WASH provision, water-secure livelihoods and protected ecosystems.
Breaking with traditional supply-side interventions, social accountability mechanisms promote citizens voice to trigger responsive actions from governments and service providers who have the duty to manage water resources and fulfill the human rights to water and sanitation. These mechanisms encompass transparency tools like citizen’s charters and right to information legislation; monitoring and evaluation, like expenditure tracking, report cards, social auditing and action research; and participatory mechanisms, including community-based WRM, and activation of water tenure, legal duties and entitlements.
This session brings together practitioners, beneficiaries and government duty-bearers to share evidence from social accountability initiatives in Africa and Asia. Triangulating these experiences with preliminary research findings and evidence from other sectors, participants will discuss how social accountability can contribute to water security and improving services; and develop recommendations for effective upscaling.
The session premiered a draft paper for discussion: Social accountability for a water-secure future: knowledge, practice and priorities. (Download)
Case studies: How does social accountability work in practice and what has been learned?
Activating water security with communities in Tanzania
Ms. Pendo Hyera, Shahidi wa Maji
Key note speech: Social accountability in the water sector – a review of knowledge, practice and future priorities.
Dr. Nick Hepworth, Water Witness International