Social Accountability and Advocacy

Communities will benefit from their legal entitlement to water which is essential to health, education and livelihoods via social accountability and advocacy.

Social accountability is an approach that tries to improve the institutional performance by bolstering citizen engagement with public responsiveness of states and corporations. 

What we have achieved:

We have pioneered new approaches  including social accounting and evidence based advocacy to drive implementation of Tanzania’s good water law and policies. We work with communities to help them understand their rights. We work with institutions to explore how well they are working ‘on the ground’. We support government by providing advice and training. Finally, we monitor and evaluate the approach to make it as effective as possible. Coupled to advocacy and training this ensures our work has global impact.

What our stakeholders say:

“The project is a very good idea. It looks out for the rights of the citizens and farmers. We now know we need a water permit and are in the process of getting one. Without the permit our water could be snatched away. This will help us avoid conflict as water demand is increasing. ”

— Hamisi Mtunga, Chair of Mkula Irrigation Scheme, Kilombero Valley

“In Tanzania there is a huge gap between policy and practice. Projects like these are needed to highlight how practice is being carried out, indicating where it does not match policies – but also highlight where policies are impractical”

— NGO actor

“The sector urgently needs a social accountability voice and placing that within a civil society organisation is ideal”

— Sector donor

“We became Mashahidi because we were facing many problems with pollution. The Uhakika team increased our awareness about what we could do and we were happy to join as it was the only way of conveying our message .Awareness creation made us want to take action with the project”

— Mashahidi, Ngerengere site

Water Stewardship

Business will benefit from reduced risk from water issues, and resilience to climate change via water stewardship.

All businesses, from small farmers to multi-national corporations, are reliant to some extent on water for their success. In turn they have a strong influence on water quality and quantity via what they abstract and discharge. Water stewardship means businesses using water responsibly and contributing to wider catchment management to address shared water risks. The Alliance for Water Stewardship standard, an international standard for sustainable private sector water use, is a core part of this approach (

Water security can be a risk to business due to low water availability exacerbated by competing needs, poor water quality due to other polluters, inefficient water use, risks from the supply chain and the impacts of climate change. Add reputational risks etc Good water stewardship will help make business water secure, minimising risks and building resilience to climate change. 

What we have achieved:

  • Shahidi is the first African CSO to be a member of AWS and have certification as trainers and advisors

  • We have worked with partners and communities to identify pollution issues from business and industry and their solutions, advocating for action (ref case studies on www)

  • We have supported farmers and industries to identify critical water efficiency needs and improve environmental sanitation

  • Contributed to corporate social responsibility of private sector in managing future water security with other catchment users

What our stakeholders say:

“Through this work we now understand what the Alliance for Water Stewardship standard is about. It is clear that it will help us implement IWRM and our National Water Policy. It has our full support”

— Philip Olum, CEO, Kenya Water Resource Management Authority

Communications, advocacy and capacity building

Water Governance will be implemented by working with all those involved in implementing IWRM plans from Government to Donors and CSOs.

Poor water governance limits the benefits of development, contributes to inequity, impacts ecosystems and increases vulnerability to climate change. The profile and importance of water resource management needs to be raised from government to the public. Existing evidence on how best to manage water resources needs to be used and capacity built to ensure cost-effective implementation and long term improvements for the benefit of all.

We will improve water governance by:

  • Increase our advocacy work by developing and implementing a communications plan for a range of audiences to increase awareness of water resource management issues and potential solutions.

  • Be the CSO voice in water policy review and development, supporting government to achieve their targets

  • Provide advice and support to basin authorities on implementation of IWRM in the basins that have plans

  • Provide advice and support to government on water resource management, water stewardship and building resilience to climate change

  • Influence relevant research programmes to deliver meaningful results for policy and on the ground implementation of water resource management

  • Generate knowledge to inform compelling, evidence-based advocacy and outreach to change behaviour at the local, national and international levels

  • Work in partnership with donors and other NGOs to ensure coordination and no duplication of effort

  • Work in partnership to ensure energy and agricultural developments include the sustainable management of water

  • Increase capacity in the sector by providing training and workshops on water stewardship and social accountability monitoring

  • Raise awareness via newspaper and magazine articles, radio and television on the importance of water, communities water rights and links to agriculture, energy and business success.

What we have achieved:

  • We have worked towards raising the profile of water resource management in governments, CSOs, water users and donors

  • We are recognised as an active CSO member in the dialogue on water sector performanceand are regularly invited to stakeholder forums to express an expert opinion on the water sector

  • In recognition of our expertise we are a member of the National Water Board and steering groups for other programs such as sustain Africa, and SAGGOT.

  • We have supported key partners’ training events on social accountability monitoring, advocacy and budget analysis

  • We have contributed to TV films and radio dramas to raise awareness on the importance of IWRM and a fair water future for all