The issue explained

Governance may not sound like an exciting issue, but it is of vital importance.

Without proper systems in place to check how money is being spent and whether organisations are being as effective as they could be, there is a risk of corruption, and of poor quality projects which go off track completely.

We believe that the more local people and organisations can hold their governments and donors to account on what they actually spend on water and sanitation, the more accountable and responsible they will become.

Our approach

  1. Monitoring: Monitoring is crucial for measuring progress on spending and delivery of services, and to help direct money to where it's most needed. There are a number of different ways we monitor, from household surveys to post-implementation surveys where we check to see if hardware such as a new pump is still functioning.
  2. Citizens' action: We believe that poor people themselves should be able to assert their rights and hold governments and service providers to account through negotiations, based on information that they themselves have collected. We provide the skills and tools for citizens to make their voices heard.
  3. Tracking commitments: We produce regular 'traffic light' reports which score service providers on progress against their commitments – green for 'on-track', orange if there is some concern, and red if they are completely off-track. We have also recently developed, a wiki-style site allowing contributors from around the world to monitor their government's progress in a similar way.

Additionally, we always seek to lead by example in our own governance structures, accountability and transparency. You can read more about this in Who we are.

Read WaterAid's latest research and reports on governance >

Find out more about the issues involved in our work:

Children | Financing | Health | Hygiene | Social exclusion | Sustainability | Urban | Women