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Decentralisation and the role of NGOs in combating corruption in the WASH sector

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conference contribution
posted on 12.02.2018, 15:08 authored by Bep van Oostrom, Cor Dietvorst
This paper questions the assumed relation between the decentralisation and privatisation of the provision of WASH services on the one hand and increased transparency and accountability on the other. Practices in India and Africa show that this is often not the case. Accountability and transparency are sometimes lost when the contractual arrangements between decentralised government and the private sector actors do not lead to involvement and informing user communities and when the role of local NGO’s is not recognised. As a result the quality of some work is poor, ownership of WASH services is low, and the equity principle is compromised. Nevertheless, these same decentralisation and privatisation processes create opportunities to empower communities and develop measures to combat private gain and increase transparency at the implementation level. In this paper some of these good practices are described. Particularly the role of the civil society in the promotion of accountability and honesty is crucial. NGO’s could play an important role.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

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  • Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC)

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WEDC Conference


VAN OOSTROM, B. and DIETVORST, C., 2006. Decentralisation and the role of NGOs in combating corruption in the WASH sector. IN: Fisher, J. (ed). Sustainable development of water resources, water supply and environmental sanitation: Proceedings of the 32nd WEDC International Conference, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 13-17 November 2006, pp. 560-563.


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