Latin America Capacity Building Programme

Since 2013, the UNDP Water Governance Facility in partnership with Cap-Net, LA WET net and local partners is implementing a regional Water Integrity Capacity Building Programme in Latin America. The objective of the programme is to strengthen integrity and transparency in the Latin American water sector through targeting capacity building activities.

Goal

Develop capacities of the different water stakeholder groups at different governance levels in the Latin America region thereby improving integrity (transparency, accountability, participation) practices in water resources management and service delivery.

Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) face a potential water governance crisis. Most current practices in water management and use, need both change and improvement. Millions of people still lack access to safe water and sanitation. The impact of climate change e.g. floods, droughts and increasing extreme weather events, are causing death, damage to housing, infrastructure, cities and agriculture. This is resulting in huge economic losses. Medium to long term planning is the exception rather than the rule and stakeholder participation to ensure transparency and accountability is currently not much more than a promise.

The causes for this situation can be traced back many decades in various dimensions i.e. political, cultural and economic. In addition to the historical precedents, the current absence of vital governance practices such as ‘water integrity’ mechanisms, reduces the possibility of much needed reform.

Water integrity is based on a set of interlinked, practical principles and tools for daily and diverse implementation in water management practices. Key elements of water integrity are transparency, accountability and participation. Ultimately, water integrity is one of the most important means to achieve a water-wise world and one that is resistant to corruption.

In 2013 as part of this programme, a “Mapping of Integrity and Accountability in Water Resources Management and Relevant Capacities in Latin America” was conducted. The study concluded the pertinent needs to raise awareness of the detriments of corruption in the water sector and to build capacities on how these risks can be mitigated among key water stakeholder groups in the region.

Specifically, this programme focuses on some of the main aspects that should be considered when trying to understand and respond to the need for increased water integrity in the LAC region. We aim to raise awareness of the practical elements of water integrity, to support increased capacity among policy-makers and practitioners and to incorporate this knowledge into various water related projects and policies for effective implementation.