OECD Report Analyzes Water Governance Across Latin America and the Caribbean

OECD16 November 2012: The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has released a report titled “Water Governance in Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC): A Multilevel Approach.” The report uses survey data and institutional mapping to examine the design, regulation and implementation of water policy throughout 13 LAC governments. The report underscores the importance of water governance in achieving the sanitation and water targets in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). 

By identifying common gaps, governance challenges and policy responses in the region, the report aims to provide data for LAC countries to benchmark themselves against their peers. The report describes several regional characteristics, including decentralized water service delivery and a lack of systematic relationships between constitutional structures and water institutions. The report then identifies challenges faced by LAC countries, inter alia: policy gaps and fragmentation of responsibilities; accountability gaps and absence of monitoring and evaluation; capacity gaps related to lack of staff and obsolete infrastructure; and information gaps.

The report calls for coordination across government levels to facilitate integrated water management. It recommends: identifying gaps in water policy governance; involving sub-national governments; adopting horizontal governance tools; creating and harmonizing water information systems; encouraging performance evaluation; fostering capacity building; encouraging public participation; and assessing the adequacy of existing governance structures.

The report contains chapters on: a multi-level approach to address complexity in the water sector; mapping institutional roles and responsibilities; multi-level governance challenges in the LAC water sector; multi-level coordination instruments for water policy making; and country profiles of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Peru. [Publication: Water Governance in Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC): A Multilevel Approach]