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Public Services: Water and Sanitation

ARCHIVAL – For Historical Reference



What this is about:

On Tuesday September 25, 2018 we held a public consultation session on how to represent the theme of Water and Sanitation in the State of Open Government Report. (For more background and justification, please see here.) During the session we presented our preliminary ideas and approach to Water and Sanitation and asked for feedback on the best way to frame this topic, what is missing, and if there are other stakeholders we should talk to.

The purpose of this page is to provide a public space for written feedback for those of you who couldn’t attend the consultation or who would like to make your points in writing.  You can provide comments on the original framing, on the data being used for benchmarking and can suggest case studies to be featured.

What we heard from you:

  • Lack of water governance data: the report may need to take a look at other governance indicators that have an environment or water component that can be used as an indirect measurement.
  • Other data sets to look at are:
    • WHO GLAAS database,
    • UNICEF has info on the coverage of WASH services that are available at the national level,
    • SIESAR database (Latin America only),
    • International Benchmarking Network (focused on urban areas), and
    • Water Integrity Network may have a database.
  • Framing suggestion: the report could be looking at 1) Quality: the service level through the factors listed in the outline and 2) Equity: taking a look at the distribution of that service see if/where there are discrepancies.
  • Participation takes vastly different in urban areas versus rural areas.
  • A local issue: one major challenge is that water and sanitation are hyperlocal issues and many of the local government departments who oversee this issue are not aware of or directly involved with OGP, which operates at the national level.
  • Transparency and budgets: Two specific links between water and sanitation and open government: these are 1) access to information and 2) Financing and how efficiently the budgets for water and sanitation are being used/executed.
  • Accountability and complaint mechanisms: the report should explore the availability of a redress/complaint mechanism where people can safely provide feedback to their water services provider about WASH services issues. In addition, there should be an accountability mechanism in place where people can see they types of fees they are paying and where those funds are going to. The availability of government evaluation of the quality of services provided should also be explored. 

How we plan in address/incorporate this feedback:

  • We plan to review other data sets that were mentioned during the consultation
  • We will reach out to speak with other stakeholders in the water sector, who may not be familiar with OGP, to understand their perspective and make them familiar with the OGP process and the opportunities for advancing water and sanitation related reforms 
  • We incorporate an evaluation section to the strawman to explore the availability of complaint mechanisms and evaluation of services data

Where to next?

  • Next, we will update our approach and framing. (What’s currently in the “Thematic Strawmen” document listed above.)
  • We welcome your feedback below (in the public comment box) or to our email at We are going to close comments on Wednesday 31 October. If you would like to talk to us again, please reach out (at the same email) to schedule a phone call.
  • For some areas that we still need research, we are going to commission research by partners to help inform the final report.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the consultations during the live sessions and in writing! 

Open Government Partnership