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 This site is no longer being updated, but allows access to GWI outputs until 1 October 2020 when it will also close.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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Development of the profile and system of agricultural advisers and advisory services around the Bagré dam


The Global Water Initiative (GWI), in partnership with Bagrépôle and the Union des groupements de producteurs de riz de Bagré (UGPRB), carried out a diagnostic study on the livelihoods of smallholders in 2013. This study found that the service and quality of agricultural advice around the Bagré dam, in Burkina Faso, was neither effective nor adapted to the needs of farmers.

Study on the experience of agricultural advisory services in the new (Kandadji, Famalé and Gabou) and former (Namardé Goungou and Konni) irrigated schemes in Niger


In Niger, the National Office for Irrigation Schemes (ONAHA) sought GWI's support to examine how to improve smallholders’ performance in irrigated schemes. In order to improve agricultural advisory services, this study was conducted through a diagnosis of six schemes (Konni 1, Konni 2, Namardé Goungou, Famalé, Gabou and Kandadji) in order to identify the strengths and weaknesses in the implementation of agricultural advice and water management depending on the age (old, new) and the types of production (rice cultivation, polyculture) of the schemes.

Sustainability index of rural water services: Burkina Faso and Niger


This survey was commissioned by GWI three years after the start of the 2008-2012 programme in West Africa with the aim of assessing the sustainability potential of the rural water services supported by GWI during this period and to learn lessons from governance and management systems. It is part of the ongoing learning and evaluation of GWI's work.

From demonstration latrines to Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS)


In 2008 GWI began a sustainable sanitation project in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Niger and Senegal. We focused primarily on implementing ‘demonstration latrines’ in rural areas, where the culture of open defecation (OD) and non-hygienic disposal of children’s faeces was widespread. However, demonstration latrines (particularly the government promoted Ventilated Improved Pit latrine) proved ineffective in terms of cost, sustainability and replication.

Lessons learned from GWI’s experience of CLTS in Niger


GWI are tackling sanitation issues in rural regions of Niger in the lower Tarka valley. Our 2008 ‘demonstration latrine’ project made way, in 2010, for Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS). CLTS is an approach focussed on empowerment and changing behaviour. This document follows the progress of CLTS in Niger, drawing out noteworthy examples from communities in the Tarka river basin. We show that CLTS has great potential for communities in West Africa where open defecation is commonplace.

Report on organising Municipal Water & Sanitation Days in Burkina Faso


Inter-municipal water days are a fun and useful way of running community water and sanitation training with several municipalities simultaneously, as well as providing an opportunity for fruitful 2-way communication between local people and their elected representatives. As described in this document, organising the day itself is a complex process, requiring the involvement of multiple stakeholders. Such days proved popular however, and funds permitting, other municipalities hope to host similar events in the future.


Report on organising Municipal Water Days in Burkina Faso


Municipal Water Days are an opportunity for fruitful 2-way communication between local people and their elected officials. This document describes in detail the successes and challenges of organising municipal water days in the Komondjari province of Burkina Faso. GWI piloted an Inter-municipal Water Day, as well as holding a Cleanliness Day where a group of women and young people cleaned the village thoroughly and gave hand-washing demonstrations.


Providing drinking water in the Mopti region of Mali: Lessons from the last 15 years


Over recent years, water resources in the Mopti region of Mali have diminished, whilst demand for water has steadily increased. The changing political climate has also affected water provision, with the shift towards decentralisation bringing more localised management of natural resources. This document outlines the evolution in strategy of the many organisations operating in Mopti’s water sector. Drawing on lessons from the past 15 years, we assess the functioning of water provision in 2012, under modern decentralised policies.


Lessons learned from GWI's experience of IWRM in the Tarka Valley, Madaoua, Niger


GWI Niger saw the 3-year milestone as a key moment to assess the impact of its IWRM programme. This report encompasses 2 practical themes: successes seen so far and improvements needed. As well as clarifying the objectives of IWRM, the author explains the legal and political considerations and covers important geological points. GWI Niger witnessed many positive changes through IWRM, such as improvement in farming practices and increased engagement from local water authorities.