What is WIN?

Corruption and Water

Water is a quencher of thirst, a grower of crops, a generator of power, fundamental to hygiene, and a basic natural resource vital for our daily existence. Water is necessary for human survival. Water is also a foundation for development. Without water, there can be no economic growth, no industry, no hydropower, no agriculture and no cities. Investing in water governance and infrastructure means investing in jobs, agriculture and food security, education, gender empowerment, environmental equity, as well as reducing infant mortality, improving health and a host of other factors that are commonly seen as the pre-requisites of progress.

Too often, this investment is blocked by corruption. Corruption keeps the poor in poverty and makes the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDG) impossible to achieve. To date, clean drinking water remains unobtainable for nearly 1.2 billion people around the world. This is not due to scarcity, but rather a lack of good governance. In many countries up to 50 percent or more of water goes unaccounted for due to unmonitored water leakages in pipes and canals, unauthorised connections from the rich and illegal tapping by the poor. The water crisis is a governance crisis with corruption at its core.

The Water Integrity Network (WIN)

Recognising this, the Water Integrity Network (WIN) was formed to support anti-corruption activities in the water sector worldwide by forging coalitions that can take action in ways that individuals or single organisations cannot. The complexity of multiple geographical and institutional levels typical of water sub-sectors makes such coalitions essential. If corruption in water worldwide is to be successfully contained, it requires the establishment and sustained functioning of local, national and international cross-sector coalitions made up of all stakeholders. The WIN welcomes organisations and individuals that view anti-corruption measures as central to equitable and sustainable development, economic efficiency and social equity. The WIN is itself a primary example of varied stakeholders coming together to increase integrity in the water sector.

What WIN can do?
The overall development aim of WIN is to reduce poverty by fighting corruption. Improved governance of water resources and services, such as through enhanced integrity, transparency, accountability and honesty, increases the chances of sustainable and equitable use of water and the expansion and effective delivery of water supply and sanitation. The Network’s specific objectives are to:

Promote increased awareness and understanding of corruption issues related to water;
Improve the information and knowledge base and disseminate effective anti-corruption methodologies and best practices relevant for organisations working with water;
Support practical actions to fight corruption in water;
Develop monitoring mechanisms relating to corruption in water; and
Encourage and support enhanced capacity development of governments, civil society, private sector and all other interested parties to undertake and coordinate activities, advocate and work together against corruption in water.

The Global Corruption Report 2008 (GCR)

Transparency International, (TI) — the global civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption — and the Water Integrity Network jointly produced the Global Corruption Report 2008 (GCR), with a special thematic focus on corruption in the water sector. Each year the GCR offers systematic, expert analysis on the state of corruption around the globe. The GCR 2008 includes practical recommendations for practitioners, international financial institutions and other donor agencies, as well as for civil society on fighting corruption in water sector.

The Strategic Framework for Action 2009-2015

To support the water community in corruption prevention, the Water Integrity Network has based its strategy for action 2009-2015 on the set of recommendations provided by the Global Corruption Report. The overall objective of the WIN strategy is to promote pro-poor water integrity practice by building coalitions at local, regional and global levels to jointly improve integrity. Read more about the WIN Strategic Framework for Action.


The Water Integrity Network is funded by grants from the Governments of Germany (BMZ), Sweden (SIDA), Switzerland (SDC), and The Netherlands (DGIS). Additional support for Water Integrity Action is generated through cooperation with strategic partners and members at international, regional and country levels.

For more information visit the WIN website