Water is a fundamental platform for economic and social development, and contributes to reducing multiple dimensions of poverty. It is essential to food and energy security, industrial growth, and the protection of ecosystems (WPP Strategic Plan 2012-2016). Over the last decade, governments and donors have increased budget allocations to water services and infrastructure in many countries around the world, but this has not translated into proportionate results on the ground.
Several governance constraints undermine effective water service delivery, notably low institutional capacity, poor incentives, information asymmetries between citizens and service providers, and weak accountability mechanisms. Against this background, emerging evidence indicates that strengthening the capacity of civil society to implement social accountability tools can play a positive role in overcoming governance challenges, which lie at the heart of poor service delivery.
To leverage citizen feedback and strengthen the capacity of civil society organizations to support World Bank Water Global Practice (GP) operations in enhancing transparency and accountability in the water sector in selected countries, this Water Partnership Program (WPP) – GPSA cross-collaboration will contribute to:
(1) building CSO, citizen, and government capacity to implement social accountability strategies and tools in order to monitor and improve water service delivery;
(2) generating citizen feedback that can be used to inform the design and implementation of Water GP operations;
(3) creating spaces for constructive engagement between civil society and government; and
(4) supporting information and education campaigns to raise awareness among the general public of current water, sanitation, and governance issues.
Furthermore, it will generate valuable knowledge and good practices that can be leveraged to inform the operationalization of the “Strategic Framework for Mainstreaming Citizen Engagement in WBG Operations” across the Water Global Practice portfolio.