The OECD principles on water governance emphasise the need to “mainstream integrity and transparency practices across water policies, water institutions and water governance frameworks for greater accountability and trust in decision-making”.
With good governance and trust, water operators can improve service delivery and performance, while contending with the challenges from climate change and population growth. Poor governance and lack of integrity in the water sector limit an organisation’s ability to provide sustainable services to the public and can damage its reputation and creditworthiness.
Ensuring good governance is therefore crucial and possible, but not automatic. It requires vision, professionalism, and a proactive plan to improve transparency and accountability in an organisation. There are many ways to launch such change management and integrity management work. Whichever the path chosen, leadership is pivotal to making it effective. Top management can lead from the front, setting the tone and steering by example.
To strengthen governance and management, and to improve performance and service delivery of global water operators with integrity, VEI and WIN work with numerous operators and water operator partnerships globally, focusing on organisational change.
This involves looking at the set of policies, rules, practices, and processes used to direct an organisation and the relationships between its board, management, staff, and stakeholders It includes setting long-term goals and objectives, determining the intended culture, and its ethical standards, while ensuring regulatory compliance and accountability.
In this session, water operators who have worked on strengthening transparency and accountability will be sharing their experiences and showcasing how leadership can inspire and make a difference. The session will be interactive and provide practical input for other water operators to take home.
About the organisers:
The Water Integrity Network (WIN) and partners have engaged with over 30 urban water operators globally since 2014. WIN supports change management processes to improve service, especially to the most marginalised, and minimise reputational, compliance and legal risks related to integrity issues.
VEI is the world’s leading promotor and implementer of Water Operator Partnerships (WOPs). VEI sets up and manages peer support partnerships between water operators; aiming to share knowledge and skills to make operators stronger, healthier and more resilient. These WOPs have proven themselves over the years as the recipe for success to achieve sustainable impact.
Conclusion: The way forward for leadership and integrity in WOPs - the GWOPA community of practice (CoP) for WOPs, Doeke Schippers, VEI (5 mins)