WGF Issue Sheet 1: Decentralisation of water decision making

Why Decentralise? Because water and sanitation service provision and water resources management takes place in unique, complex socio-economic contexts and solutions need to berealistic. Successful implementation of water reform requires that all stakeholders involved, especially the end users, can have their say in decision-making processes. The competing interests of different actors must be addressed for decisions reached to be viable and robust for the long-term. Top-down decision making can be perceived as being imposed upon local actors and make policies difficult to implement effectively. Further, local actors often know the challenges they face best. Decentralisation, dialoguing, participation and partnershipsare therefore critical to build awareness, acceptance and support for a reform process to move forward.