| Leadership in Water Governance:
Focus on National Water Sector Apex Bodies
|In this issue:
- Regional Meeting of National Water Sector Apex Bodies: Leadership in Water Governance
- Direction and Experience in Water Sector Apex Body Development
- Ongoing ADB Study: Comparative Analysis of Water Sector Reforms
- Profiles of National Water Sector Apex Bodies
- Special Feature:
- Water for All Publication Series
Regional Meeting of National Water Sector Apex Bodies: Leadership in Water Governance
National Water Sector Apex Bodies (NSWABs) can bring together government, civil society and other nongovernment stakeholders to promote effective water policies and guide national water sector reforms, said ADB's Lead Water Resources Specialist, Wouter Lincklaen Arriens, at the Regional Meeting of National Water Sector Apex Bodies.
The meeting brought together 50 representatives of NWSABs and water ministries from 13 Asian countries to discuss the role apex bodies can play in creating a strong and sustainable water sector. At the end of the event, participants agreed to:
- Pursue regional cooperation among NSWABs, beginning with the sharing of basic information among each other; and
- Develop performance indicators, peer review, and benchmarking make NWSABs more effective.
ADB expects NWSABs to promote a national focus on water reform, guide the reform process to ensure participation and collaboration among all stakeholders, and facilitate policy dialogue and investment partnerships with development partners, including ADB.
View the presentations at the meeting.
Drawing on insights from his extensive experience with various national water sector apex bodies in the past 15 years, Alfred Birch, Advisor to Viet Nam's National Water Resources Council, recommended that
NWSABs should strengthen integrated water resources management and water service delivery through advice to government on cross-cutting policy and institutional issues; and
The location, chairing, membership and procedures of water sector apex bodies are critical to the effectiveness of NWSABs.
In response, participants of the regional meeting commented that NWSABs need an enabling environment to ensure performance and effectiveness under the prevailing circumstances in each country.
Read the discussions on Dr. Birch's recommendations.
Ongoing ADB Study: Comparative Analysis of Water Sector Reforms
The political environment has a significant impact on water reforms. It facilitates change if the leadership is so inclined or, conversely, it can reduce proposed reforms into a political "football" being bounced from one party to another. The political environment is one of nine factors analyzed in ADB's ongoing study on water sector reforms in its developing member countries.
The study attempts to answer three key questions:
- What works under what circumstances?
- What are
the preconditions for success in pursuing reform initiatives?
- Are there
commonalities that can be useful in subregional and cross-regional
contexts for sharing of experience?
The study covers water sector reforms in 17 countries— from oceanic Kiribati to landlocked Kyrgyz Republic and the People's Republic of China. The analysis focuses on 9 factors: political environment, activities of external support agencies, engagement of "elite" and officials, socio-economic environment, crisis events, performance gaps, reform approaches and stage/direction of change.
View the preliminary
Water for All Publication Series
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