Exploring the links between governance, water insecurity and well-being

The relationship between water governance, water insecurity, and well-being is highlighted in a study published in the Journal of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene for Development, written by Joshua Miller and Sera Young (Northwestern University), Jaynie Vonk (Oxfam Great Britain) and Chad Staddon (Director of the International Water Security Network).

In 2018/19, Oxfam Great Britain conducted Sustainable Water Effectiveness Reviews in Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), asking participants (997 in Zambia and 1,071 in the DRC) about water governance and household water insecurity using the HWISE scale, and four indicators of well-being (life satisfaction, drinking unsafe water, diarrhea, and resilience to cholera outbreak).

Analysing this data, the researchers found that “good water governance was directly associated with greater odds of life satisfaction and lower odds of both drinking unsafe water and severe cholera impact”. They conclude: “Perceived water governance was significantly associated with improved household water insecurity, which in turn was associated with improvements in household and individual well-being (lower odds of drinking unsafe water, lower odds of experiencing diarrhea, and decreased relative severity of cholera outbreaks). Ultimately, improvements in water governance hold promise for the improvement of both water insecurity and well-being, and further advancing progress toward the SDGs”.

The full article, Is household water insecurity a link between water governance and well-being? A multi-site analysis is available here.