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 This site is no longer being updated, but allows access to GWI outputs until 1 October 2020 when it will also close.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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Involving local stakeholders in decentralised IWRM

The Global Water Initiative in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Niger and Senegal implemented the principles of Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) at the community level. This meant engaging local stakeholders in the management of their own water resources, particularly by bringing together diverse voices and interests around a logical intervention point, such as a river basin, sub-basin, or even an individual water point.

GWI helped stakeholders develop participatory local water resource management plans for individual check dams (or “dugouts”), and for sub-basins covering several municipalities, as well as designing transboundary basin management agreements. We supported the shift in decentralising governance of natural resources from the state towards communal responsibility, through Community Action Plans (CAPs). These CAPs incorporated 5 focal themes: multiple usages of water, governance, infrastructure, conflict management, and sanitation.

In several countries we also involved local stakeholders in decentralised IWRM by means of municipal water days. These initiatives aimed to bridge the gap between local people and the officials in charge of managing rural water resources, fostering mutual understanding and collaboration. We found municipal water days to be a useful tool for improving the management of rural water resources in West Africa and potentially beyond, while also increasing the accountability of elected officers to their electorate for effective service delivery.

The resources listed below report on our experiences of involving local stakeholders in decentralised IWRM.

Publications

 

An educational graphic designer worked with GWI to produce this set of accessible images that communicate the principles of Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM).

Indigenous knowledge and community-based actions are crucial to successful water resource management.

More and more women now hold positions of responsibility within the water sector in Burkina Faso. GWI’s gender-based training on IWRM promotes and supports female leadership in the water sector.

Communication is often poor between local people and the officials in charge of managing rural water resources. Municipal Water Days (MWDs) aim to bridge this gap and foster mutual understanding and collaboration.

Communication is often poor between local people and the officials in charge of managing rural water resources. Municipal Water Days (MWDs) aim to bridge this gap and foster mutual understanding and collaboration.

This report documents GWI’s experience of setting up a pilot Local Water Committee in Madaoua, in the sub-basin of the Tarka Valley in Niger. We chose this area because it lies at the heart of the most vulnerable part of the Tarka Valley flood plain.

Local Water Committees are a key link in the chain of governance of water resources, providing a front line response to resolving any issues arising locally.

Community Action Plans (CAPs) are important for integrated water resource management, particularly as responsibility for governance shifts from the state towards the commune.