The intervention we propose to evaluate is the Annotated Water Integrity Scan (AWIS). AWIS is a participatory approach to information gathering and dissemination designed to evaluate integrity, defined here as a set of practices that impede corruption and promote respect for the rule of law. AWIS is also specifically designed to identify priority steps for improvement. AWIS is scalable, replicable, and adaptable to a wide range of contexts: in this case, the provision of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services in schools. AWIS was developed by the Water Integrity Network (WIN) and has been adapted and applied in countries including Benin, India, Uganda, and Guatemala.
The AWIS intervention consists of three stages: a policy review; a survey by NGO personnel; and a stakeholder workshop. The workshop is the cornerstone of the process and itself consists of three stages: 1) Stakeholders, including students, parents, school staff and local government administrators, anonymously score processes on transparency, accountability and participation indicators. 2) Participants are invited to openly discuss and defend all scores, high and low, regardless of their own position. Based on the outcomes of the discussion, the scores are jointly adjusted and aggregated, until they are agreed upon. 3) Participants identify priority risks and action areas. The AWIS process makes it possible to discuss integrity without antagonizing stakeholders and helps raise awareness on contrasting points of view and unexpected risks. The assessment provides a basis to advocate for undertaking steps to strengthen institutional and governance mechanisms.
In this study, we implement AWIS with respect to WASH service provision in high schools in rural Bangladesh.