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 This site is no longer being updated, but allows access to GWI outputs until 1 October 2020 when it will also close.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

Towards a shared vision: action plans for adapted advisory services in West Africa’s rice irrigation schemes


Farmer organisations and government agencies managing large scale irrigation systems in West Africa need to collaborate to agree on a vision for agricultural services that increases scheme viability while meeting the needs of different types of farmers. However, there is no institutional mechanism in place that enables different groups of actors – with different levels of power – to engage at a strategic level or to negotiate and take forward such a common position.


Research in West Africa finds that smallholder farmers are not benefiting enough from investments in irrigation because they are not getting access to the agriculture services they need.

Securing land tenure of smallholders in West African large scale irrigation schemes - Learning from the experiences in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger


A workshop on securing land tenure of smallholders in West African large scale irrigation schemes was held in Ouagadougou on 17-19 June 2016. This regional event was organised by the West African Farmer Organisations’ Network (ROPPA) and GWI, and facilitated by The Rural Hub.

17 June 2016 to 19 June 2016
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Towards a shared vision: Advisory services that work for smallholders and government in West Africa’s large irrigation schemes


Large government-managed irrigation schemes in West Africa are expected to meet the ambitious rice production targets of governments and ensure the livelihoods of small scale rice producers. Functioning institutions are a prerequisite for achieving these sometimes conflicting objectives.

Jamie Skinner

Relocating to make way for big dams in West Africa has different impacts on men and women. In this blog we take a look at examples of how women's livelihoods have been affected by dams in Ghana and Niger.