The Global Water Initiative (GWI) was an action-research and advocacy programme that ran from 2008-17. The project is now closed. This site is no longer being updated, but allows access to GWI outputs until 1 October 2020 when it will also close. After that date, information about the project and core GWI technical publications will continue to be available from the IIED website and Publications Library.

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How we work

GWI West Africa is delivered by a consortium formed by IIED and IUCN and is guided by the GWI vision and mission. All regions of GWI work to create meaningful change through integrated policy initiatives and advocacy to:

  • Support more effective governance and policy-making at all levels in support of water for agriculture.
  • Enhance the quality of knowledge and make accessible relevant information for smallholder farmers while improving use and management practices for key stakeholders.

Our multi-stakeholder approach in practice

GWI West Africa carries out action-research, based on a participatory and multi-stakeholder approach, as a basis for advocacy.

In practice, this includes establishing steering groups drawn from government, civil society (farmer organisations), and research communities (see Our partners for examples), to shape and guide our research. The steering groups are constituted specifically for the needs of each study and may consist of up to 12 members.  

As the research develops, we hold wider stakeholder workshops and meetings to share results, test findings, and gather feedback. You can find details and results of some these workshops on our Events pages, as well as the 'final communiqués' from each of our workshops which can be found in our Publications. This feedback is then taken into account and the bottom-up evidence gathered through our research forms the basis for advocacy and technical advice which is carried out in partnership with stakeholders, governments and donors.

GWI principles

Our work is guided by the global GWI principles and methods for implementing change:

  • Maintaining or improving water quality while conserving its use as a limited resource.
  • Developing and promoting sustainable agriculture systems, while improving knowledge and social learning.
  • Empowering small farmers – especially women – while improving human well-being and fostering sustainable livelihoods.