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 This site is no longer being updated, but allows access to GWI outputs until 1 October 2020 when it will also close.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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Our work

The Global Water Initiative (GWI) is an action-research and advocacy programme funded by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, which focuses on three regions: Central America, East Africa and West Africa.

GWI aims 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.

GWI West Africa is implemented by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in five focus countries in the Sahel region.

Water for Agriculture : 2012-2017

For GWI West Africa our focus is on agricultural production linked to dams and large scale irrigation schemes at local, national and regional levels. Our multi-stakeholder approach seeks to empower smallholder farmers – both men and women – to put them at the centre of policies for efficient water management, food security and secure livelihoods.

You can find out more about our work on Water for Agriculture (2013-2017) here.

Our work on ‘water for agriculture’ began in 2012 as part of the global GWI programme, building on a previous phase of work carried out by GWI between 2008 and 2012.

IWRM and WASH : 2008-2012

This first phase of work by GWI West Africa focused on integrated water resource management (IWRM) and access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). Our work on IWRM included a programme of work on benefit-sharing and large dams  in the GWI West Africa focus countries.

GWI West Africa’s work has now shifted to focus on ‘water for agriculture’, but we continue to monitor the work that was done between 2008 and 2012 and all of the resources from this first phase remain available in our resources library.

You can find out more about GWI West Africa’s work on IWRM and WASH (2008-2012) here.