Regional Development

Water Governance Topics



Water and cities icon 56x56 Many cities around the world are increasingly subject to risks of having too little, too much and too polluted water. Tackling these challenges requires robust governance frameworks. The OECD project builds on a survey across 48 OECD and non-OECD cities to propose policy responses to coordinate across sectors, engage with stakeholders and foster rural-urban partnerships and metropolitan governance.

Stakeholder engagement is an integral part of sound water governance processes. The OECD project suggests an analytical framework to assess the impact of stakeholder engagement in water-related decision-making and policy implementation. It also formulates policy guidance for decision-makers and practitioners on how to set up the appropriate framework conditions for inclusive water governance.

Water integrity icon 56x56 Poor integrity affects water governance in terms of who gets what water when, where and how. As part of the OECD Cleangovbiz initiative, specific work on water was conducted to provide priority questions for governments, businesses and civil society to assess framework conditions for enhancing water integrity and governance.


Women and girls are the primary providers, managers, and users of water; however, women make up less than 17% of the water, sanitation, and hygiene labour force in developing economies and a fraction of the policymakers, regulators, management, and technical experts.

OECD work on women in water decision making was presented at the 12th Water Governance Initiative in June 2019 and Stockholm World Water Week in August 2019.  


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