GOVERNMENT PAY YOUR WATER BILL CAMPAIGN

The Water Citizens Network in partnership with End Water Poverty (UK) and other organized civil society groups and relevant actors, are using this campaign to target government decision-makers to ensure government institutions and leaders pay their water bills. This is a global campaign being implemented in four other countries. The Water Citizens Network is the lead-organisation implementing the campaign in Ghana.

OBJECTIVE

The campaign aims at triggering governments and their agencies to pay their bills, as well as bringing this issue and people (as tax payers and water users) and their WASH priorities into the public domain for policy dialogue on water sector financing.

  • By end of 2020, in at least three of the five targeted countries and at least two other countries have a vibrant and visible national campaign on Government Pay Your Water Bills.
  • Several public institutions in target countries have settled their arrears and have initiated new practices or policies at local or national level to ensure timely payment of bills in future.

APPROACH

The campaign comprises three main elements:
Preparatory phase
Firstly, evidence on the size and effect of the problem will be gathered at during a preparation phase. This process will equally be used to rally local civil society actors on the issue and build coalitions with journalists as well as service providers, regulators, other government entities and financiers that have a shared interest in addressing the issue.
The main outputs of the preparation phase will comprise:

  • Campaign strategy co-owned by a core group of key partners including priority targets and asks, messages at global and country level, possible tactical aprroaches for at least 3 countries
  • A wider network of partners that are ready to join the campaign, amplify and pick up messages
  • Policy brief summarizing the size and impact of the problem in various countries, and sharing good practice experiences and measures to ensure public agencies pay their bills timely and fully;
  • Background information package
    o with country specific evidence for in-country partners in five countries,
    o A (less detailed) global/regional synthesis and, where possible, country-specific evidence for partners in other countries
  • Advocacy materials for the campaign, incl. a video explaining the problem and the connection to the financing and accountability debates, interviewing selected citizens, utility managers, and government representatives;

In-country campaigns in at least five countries
Based on this, the main campaign will combine global policy advocacy with local action in several focus countries, comprising:
Awareness campaigns “Governments, pay your water bills” with citizens, organized by civil society organizations at country level, targeting senior government officials and politicians in at least five focus countries (possibly, tbc: Ghana, Kenya, Mexico, Nepal, Zambia?):

  • Factsheets & infoposters for awareness campaigns, for public use;
  • Public outreach events incl. marches, public speaking events with allied government partners and local leaders, poster campaigns in public places;
  • Direct engagement with senior government officials esp. from water and sanitation and public finance (esp. in lead up to the SWA Finance Ministers Meeting), as well as audit and other oversight institutions;
  • Social media campaigns;
  • Media coverage in local newspapers, radios, tv stations and others;

Global campaign

Global advocacy campaign targeting decision-makers in developing and emerging market countries, as well as donors and financiers:

  • Key messages launched around the time of the SWA Finance Ministers Meeting;
  • Broader lauch of joint position papers and messages, possible media articles in June/July 2020
  • Joint social media campaign carried by an alliance of CSOs and other like-minded partners with stories from the national level campaigns;
  • At least two good case studies are documented for dissermination with a core of utility staff who are confident to address the public about this issue.
  • Where possible joint events or publications with regional policy organizations such as AMCOW, Asia Pacific Water Forum, SAN conferences and others
  • Session at Stockholm World Water Week that shares results of national level campaigns, and furthers the debate on how to counter the issue with civil society representatives, development partners and government representatives.