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Capacity Development
Water Integrity Management (IM) Toolbox

Water Integrity Management (IM) Toolbox

Year of publication:
The IM toolbox is a systematic, bottom-up approach to identify and address the integrity risks in the day-to-day operations and management of a water sector organization. Water sector organizations can use the approach to optimize their business models and reduce the risks that are affecting their performance on the long term.

Building block(s)
Capacity Development
Both urban and rural
Organization responsible for the tool
WIN - Water Integrity Network
GIZ - Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit
Detailed description of Tool

Irregular procurement processes, illegal connections, collusion of officials with informal water cartels, and falsification of invoices and accounts are all serious integrity challenges that water sector organizations face. Such risks can damage an organization's reputation and in the worst cases seriously affect their bottom line.

Water integrity tools can help assess the scale and impact of corruption in a sub-sector, identify integrity risks that are limiting the effectiveness and sustainability of projects, or improve budgeting and procurement processes to limit risks of malpractice.

Developed in 2014 by the Water Integrity Network, cewas and GIZ and subsequently updated, The IM Toolbox provides a participatory approach to improving the performance of service providers by raising staff awareness of workplace ethics, and implementing integrity management practices. The IM Toolbox supports organizations in basing their actions on integrity - particularly their strategic plans, business models, and most importantly, their day-to-day practices - in order to reduce risks, improve performance, and provide better water and sewerage services to citizens. Its application in the change process works in two ways: it can be used to communicate an organization's values to their staff, creating a positive work environment, and improving motivation; and it provides tools to detect and manage risks, and to prevent and sanction rule violations.

Different types of water sector organizations can benefit from the approach:

  • Utilities
  • Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
  • Public institutions
  • River basin organizations (RBOs)
  • Community or micro-providers
  • Non-governmental organizations (NGOs)


The tool can be applied at an organizational level or at the sector level. At the sector level, regulatory bodies, associations, funding schemes, and others can use the toolbox to make selected water sector organizations improve their corporate governance, regulatory compliance, and customer orientation by engaging in the integrity change process. In this scenario a coordinating body (regulatory body, association, funding scheme, or other organization) causes the targeted water sector organizations in a given sub-sector (such as utilities) to use the toolbox. This means that parallel integrity change processes take place in multiple organizations.


The IM Toolbox website describes risks, gathers several tools, such as a Water safety plan and Water development pact (among others), and provides case studies of the Toolbox use.


Go to website

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