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Transparency and integrity

Published on: 05/03/2013

Transparency (openness) and integrity (honesty) aim to counteract corruption. The Oxford Dictionary defines corrupt as having or showing a willingness to act dishonestly in return for money or personal gain.

Although decentralization brings development processes closer to those meant to benefit and allow for a more direct community involvement, it is in itself no guarantee for reducing these malpractices. A case study from Kerala in India lists the different types of dishonest acts for financial gain in a non-sewered sanitation programme, and how they were counteracted with the help of the knowledge and actions of local men and women. It was not possible to quantify the savings, but the net effect was a high cost-efficiency: over 60,000 toilets were built at up to 30% of sanitation programmes without such measures. More information can be found in a workshop paper on the same programme.

The toilets in the above-mentioned programme were all double-vault, pour-flush toilets which produced compost and so did not need desludging. If desludging is needed there are also cases of payment of bribes to traffic police to be allowed to pass on the way to the treatment plant or to avoid a fine for not being en route to such a plant.

Background information and materials referred to in the article:
  • Although decentralization brings development processes closer to those meant to benefit and allow for a more direct community involvement, it is in itself no guarantee for reducing these malpractices
  • A case study from Kerala in India lists the different types of dishonest acts for financial gain in a non-sewered sanitation programme
  • More information can be found in a workshop paper on preventing corruption, encouraging transparency and accountability in the water and sanitation sector
  • If desludging is needed there are also cases of payment of bribes to traffic police to be allowed to pass on the way to the treatment plant

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