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Integrated Water

Resources Management
Training Programme for decisionmakers in the Middle East/
North Africa region
Autumn 2009

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The German Commission for UNESCO was founded in 1950. It is an intermediary of

German foreign policy and links civil society with UNESCO. It advises the government and
supports implementing UNESCOs programmes in Germany and abroad. The German
Commission for UNESCO received a grant from the German Foreign Office for this
training programme.
The UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development started work in 2007. Its
programme office in Bonn, Germany, strengthens the activities of the more than two
dozen UN organizations cooperating within the inter-agency mechanism UN-Water.
The IHP/HWRP-National Committee coordinates the German contribution to the
hydrological programmes of UNESCO and of WMO. It offers a forum for the hydrological
sciences in Germany, thus linking national and international aspects of hydrology.

Programme developed in cooperation with:

Partner in Egypt:

With financial support of:

Table of Contents



Unit I: Course Introduction and Learning Objectives

Unit II: Overview of the MENA Region.

Unit III: Integrated Water Resources Management........

Unit IV: Policy making...................................


Unit V: Water use, impacts and benefits.........


Unit VI: Stakeholder participation and conflict resolution in IWRM........


Unit VII: IWRM planning approaches................


Unit VIII: Institutional and organizational arrangements for IWRM...


Unit IX: Policy instruments ...............


Unit X: Transboundary water management...


Unit XI: Project Management.................


Unit XII: Team Role Management......


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UNIT I: Course Introduction and Learning Objectives

Course introduction

Figure I.1: Map of MENA

Water scarcity is a problem, all countries in the

Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region
face. The current water stress has being
exacerbated in the last years due to population
growth, urban sprawl, increased industrialization
and agricultural pressures. Limited availability of
water can jeopardize among others economical
development as well as state stability and fight
against poverty. In this context an integrated,
participatory and sustainable approach is
necessary to balance the demand of different
users and ecosystems for water with the
available resources. Integrated Water Resource
Management (IWRM) emerges as an approach
to address these issues and to promote the
development of appropriate water policy
guidelines, management strategies and to
contribute to the strengthening of institutions.
This course focuses on the MENA region and its
water management challenges. It is a part of the
Training Programme on IWRM for decisionmakers and professional managers.

Learning objectives
This course aims at levelling the differences in
background knowledge of the participants and
developing a shared understanding of key
Integrated Water Resources Management
(IWRM) concepts, with a particular focus on the
MENA region. At the end of the course, the
participant will be able to:

Understand basic principles of Integrated

Water Resources Management;
enhance his/her knowledge on legal and
better understand decision-making processes
in water management, and
apply structured planning procedures for
water allocation and resource conservation.

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UNIT II: Overview of the MENA region

The MENA region

According to the World Bank (2007) The Middle East
and North Africa (MENA) is the worlds driest region.
Statistics show that the water availability per person is
around 1100 m3 per person per year much lower than
the worldwide average of 8900 m3 (World Bank, 2007).

Improvement of the water sectors

performance became highly
imperative in the Middle East and
North Africa. This involves
reforms in policies inside and
outside the water sector

Figure II.2: Share of water available or used by source

(World Bank, 2007)
Note: External renewable water resources refers to surface and renewable
groundwater that comes from other countries, net of that countrys
consumption. Virtual water refers to water embedded in food that is imported,
net of exports, average over 19959.This figure does not include water used
for environmental purposes.

Figure II.1: Map of MENA region

Although three quarters of the population have access

to water supply and sanitation, still half of the regions
habitants live under conditions of water stress (Figure
II.2). The water stress is fostered by population growth,
urbanized sprawl, increased industrialization and
increased use of water for irrigation in the agricultural
sector. Most of the regions countries have prioritized
water storage and more efficient water use as their best
alternatives to cope with water scarcity.
Some of the water management challenges that the
countries in this region face are:

Improvement of the efficiency of water supply,

especially in rural areas, by avoiding inappropriate
technologies and inefficient management,
increasing the cost recovery in irrigation systems
for agriculture, by changing non-water policies (e.g.

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subsidies), and
Improvement transboundary cooperation, since
many basins and rivers are shared between
countries and therefore (regional) cooperation is

Figure II.3: Aridity zoning in the MENA region (World

Bank, 2007)

World Bank. 2007. Factors inside and outside the water sector drive MENAs water outcomes.
InWent. 2009. MENA water portal: Water sector in MENA Region.

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UNIT III: Integrated Water Resources Management

The water cycle

The annual water cycle from rainfall to runoff is a
complex system where several processes (infiltration,
surface runoff, recharge, seepage, re-infiltration,
moisture recycling) are interconnected and
interdependent with one main direction of flow:
downstream. A catchment is therefore one single
system and is more than the sum of its subcatchments.
Our water use is embedded in the hydrological
system. It is therefore important that we consider the
hydrological system and locate our water use in it.

Figure III.1: The Water Cycle

We should look upstream to assess

water availability, but also
downstream to assess possible third
party impacts on water quantity
and quality.

The hydrological system is the source of water.

Whereas water is finite as a resource, it is renewable
through the water cycle. The hydrological system
generates the water that humans need for drinking
and other domestic use, for agricultural production
(both rainfed and irrigated), for industrial production,
for recreation, etc. and the environment needs with
its natural components.
The hydrological system also receives return flows
from human water use. This can be in a form often
not immediately recognised, namely as water vapour
from transpiration of crops and evaporation from
natural and human created lakes (so-called moisture
feedback). Grey return flow, such as sewage water
from cities and industries that flow back into rivers
generally are more conspicuous. Such flows may
also percolate into aquifers, often transporting
pollutants (e.g. from irrigation with fertilizers and
pesticides). In heavily committed catchment areas,
downstream users may depend on return flows as
the source of their water.
Water use therefore influences the flow regime and
has impacts downstream, both in terms of water
quantity and water quality. My water use always
implies looking upstream in order to assess water
availability, and looking downstream in order to
assess possible third party effects of my activity.
Most people, however, forget the last part and tend to
look only in the upstream direction, merely concerned
with securing the personal supply of water.

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What makes water so special?

Water is vital, therefore a public

Fresh water is vital to sustain life, for which there

is no substitute. This means that water has a
(high) value to its users.

Although water is a renewable resource, it is

practically speaking finite. Many uses of water are
therefore subtractible, meaning that the use by
somebody may preclude the use by somebody

Water is a fugitive resource. It is therefore difficult

to assess the (variations in) stock and flow of the
resource, and to define the boundaries of the
resource. This complicates the planning and
monitoring of withdrawals as well as the exclusion
of those not entitled to abstract water.

Water is finite and can be privately

appropriated, therefore a private
Water use is fugitive, therefore it is
also a common property resource
(Van der Zaag and Savenije, 2008)

The vital nature of water assigns it characteristics of

a public good. Its finite nature confers to it properties
of a private good, as it can be privately appropriated
and enjoyed. The fugitive nature of water, and the
resulting high costs of exclusion, confers to it
properties of a common pool resource.
Water resources management aims to reconcile
these various attributes of water. This is a demanding
task as the property regime and management
arrangements of a water resources system are often

Management (IWRM)


IWRM has to consider the water resources from a

number of different perspectives or dimensions.
Once these various dimensions have been
considered, appropriate decisions and arrangements
can be made. The four dimensions that IWRM takes
into account are:

Figure III.2: The IWRM Cube

Water Resources: The water resources include all

forms of occurrence of water including salt water and
fossil groundwater. A distinction can be made
between blue and green water. Blue water, the water
in rivers, lakes and shallow aquifers, has received all
the attention from water resources planners and
engineers. Green water, the water in the unsaturated
zone of the soil responsible for the production of
biomass has largely been neglected but is
responsible for 60% of the world food production and
all of the biomass produced in forests and pastures.
Fossil water, the deep aquifers that contain nonrenewable water, should be considered a mineral

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resource which can only be used once at the cost of

foregoing future use.

IWRM has four dimensions:

resource, users, spatial and

Water Users: There are many different users of water

and its functions.
Functions can be split into
production functions (for economic production
activities), regulation functions (for maintaining a
dynamic equilibrium in natural processes), carrier
functions (to sustain life forms) and transfer functions
(as a contribution to culture, religion and landscape).
The uses include: households, industries, agriculture,
fisheries, ecosystems, hydropower, navigation,
recreation, etc. Water users consist of consumptive
and non-consumptive (often in-stream) users.
Besides on quantity, the users depend largely on the
quality of the resource.
Spatial Scales: Water resources policies are
implemented at different levels: the international
level, the national level, the province or district level
and the local level. Parallel to these (administrative)
levels are hydrological system boundaries such as
river basins, sub-catchments and watersheds.
Hydrological boundaries seldom concur with
administrative boundaries. River basins seem
appropriate units for operational water management
but present problems for institutions that have a
different spatial logic.

The Subsidiarity Principle:

decision-making at the lowest
appropriate level

IWRM implementation is a
challenging process; not an overnight shift

Different decisions on water resources management

are made at different levels, meaning that the
concept of subsidiarity (decision-making at the lowest
appropriate level) needs to be a guiding principle in
the development of IWRM. Interests and decisions at
lower levels need to be carried upward to be taken
into consideration at higher levels, particularly to the
national and international level. An important element
in this process is the participation of stakeholders in
decision-making processes at all levels.
Temporal Scales and Patterns: Both the water
resources themselves and the water uses have
distinct temporal patterns. The temporal distribution
of water resources is crucial (floods, droughts, base
flows, flooding patterns) and so is the distribution
over time of the demands (peak demands, constant
requirements, cropping patterns, etc.).
To summarise, IWRM seeks to manage water
resources in a comprehensive and holistic way,
taking account of the entire water cycle and the
interests of all water users, while acknowledging the
temporal and spatial variability in availability and the
interactions with water quality and ecology. Managing
water resources is then characterised by transparent
and participatory decision-making procedures that

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carefully weigh societal objectives and constraints,

integrate these where possible, and set priorities
where necessary.
An alternative commonly used definition is that of the
Global Water Partnership: Integrated Water
Resources Management is a process which
promotes the coordinated development and
management of water, land and related resources, in
order to maximise the resultant economic and social
welfare in an equitable manner without compromising
the sustainability of vital ecosystems. (GWP, 2000)

Management in drylands


In drylands, as in other regions, any water transfer in

and between river basins affects communities along
those basins. Thus, it is important to view water
resources strategically at the river basin level,
particularly when water transfer schemes cross
national and international boundaries.
Appropriate management and maintenance of
existing irrigation systems is critical for long-term
sustainability. It is also important to manage demand
of water resources, rather than managing the supply

Figure III.3: The Wadi Mousa

Wastewater Treatment Plant in Jordan

While developing integrated water management

approaches for drylands, the following should be

Existing water management systems are often

complex, with limited capacity for adoption of
advanced technologies. Limited fiscal and human
resources often affect the adequateness of the
exacerbated by a rapidly-increasing population in

The bureaucratic mechanisms in place to

oversee water management at the national level
are also complex. In contrast, the international
water management mechanisms are currently in
their infancy and are undergoing evolution.

Currently, functional water distribution systems

often result in the uneven distribution of water
between end-users. Poor drainage systems lead
to salinization of soils.

Integrated water management approaches that

account for all natural resources and have the full
involvement of local communities have been
successful. Another successful approach is the

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promotion of landscape architecture and the

movement away from traditional, mono-cropping
agricultural systems.

Governments sometimes provide perverse

subsidies to projects that over-utilize the existing
water resources and are detrimental to the
environment in general.

IWRM approaches for drylands are
multidisciplinary and multistakeholder, and require
scientifically-based policy




A number of innovative approaches and solutions to

water resources management in drylands are
available. These water management approaches are
multidisciplinary and multi-stakeholder. A key
element of successful water and resource
management is building partnerships for joint action.
These partnerships can be at the institutional or
professional level and the scale can vary from local
to international. It is most important to involve endusers, such as farmers, in the development and
implementation of activities.
Successful implementation of these approaches
requires that scientifically-based policy guidelines are
developed for governments. The long and short term
evaluation of environmental and socioeconomic
impacts of such policies should be a critical
component of the policy development process. It is
also important to consider demand management
policies, rather than just focus on water supply.
Although their application requires caution and
careful evaluation, several new and innovative
approaches are available for water management.

Water productivity improvement is

one of the main goals of the new
approaches for water management
in drylands

Water productivity can be significantly improved

through recently-developed methods of water
harvesting, supplemental irrigation and deficit
irrigation. These technologies have been quite
successfully tested at a pilot scale and now require a
broader implementation.
The chronic shortage of water in arid areas requires
looking for new and innovative solutions. One key
option is to recycle and re-use as much of the
available water as possible.
technologies, as well as effective management of
existing resources. Some of these methodologies
have been evaluated at relatively small scale and
require a more careful evaluation as broader-scale

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implementation schemes are developed.

Effectively managing and maximizing the productivity
of existing water resources is critical in dry areas
where water harvesting and supplemental irrigation
can be useful.

Water and desertification are two

of the main limiting factors for
crop productivity of drylands

It is also important to keep in mind that often

optimum crop production can be achieved by
spreading supplemental irrigation over larger tracts of
land. In other words, water not land is the limiting
factor in determining the crop productivity of
drylands. Although desertification has also became a
concern in drylands due to increasing pressures on
land use that derived in loss of top soil and erosion.
For wastewater treatment technologies to be
effective, they have to be relatively inexpensive and
amenable to local production. In this respect,
attention should be given to natural ecosystems as
treatment processes, such as soil infiltration
treatment and oxidation ponds.

Natural ecosystems can be used as

wastewater treatment facilities

The long-term impacts of applying treated

wastewater should be carefully evaluated. In
particular, the long-term impact of heavy metals and
other pathogenic pollutants commonly found in
wastewater should be assessed. The impacts on
both the environment and human health deserve our
attention. Sustained monitoring is necessary in areas
where treated waters are applied. This monitoring
can be further enhanced through modeling and

Allan, T., 2003. IWRM/IWRAM: a new sanctioned discourse? Occasional Paper 50. School of
Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), Kings College. London.
Van der Zaag, P. And H.H.G. Savenije. 2008. Concepts and Definitions. In Principles of
UNU-INWEH. Course 2 - Introduction to Integrated Water Resource Management. Lesson 9:
Biswas, A.K., 2004, Integrated water resources management: a reassessment. Water
International 29(2): 248-256.
GWP. 2000. Integrated water resources management. TAC Background Paper No. 4, Global
Water Partnership, Stockholm.

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UNIT IV: Policy Making

Environmental policy making in the

Human-Nature nexus
The success of an environmental
policy requires that all the layers
of the society, all its forces,
conscious of their responsibilities,
contribute to protect and improve
the environment
Proceedings of the Helsinki Conference,
1975 (adapted from Falloux and Talbot,

Management of the environment conceptually involves

the understanding of inter-linkages between Humans
and Nature, or Society and the Environment.
Environmental protection through conservation often
entails keeping humans out of nature (e.g., when
establishing national parks etc.) for the benefit of
certain habitats. Environmental management on the
other hand deals with the interactions between the
human society - through natural resource use - and the
environment, or the natural resource base,
acknowledging that natural resources supply the goods
and services that secure human livelihoods. Here the
three-part conceptual framework by Baines in Peet
(1992) to describe the relations between society and
the environment as part of a sustainable development,
will be used as a basis (Figure IV.1).

Natural Resource


Resource Use



Figure IV.1: Conceptual framework showing

development as a dynamic society process (after Baines
in Peet, 1992)
The natural resource base is the major source of
economic opportunity and the primary source of
materials and services to which we ascribe a value and
added value when used. The biogeophysical flows
within the natural systems and the complexity and
dynamics of them form inherent limitations or
boundaries to their use. Natural resources use will
depend on the social value tied to its use, the
knowledge of the function of the natural system,
management practices, technological know-how and
institutional arrangements. Institutional arrangements

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will influence the manner in which we use natural


Figure IV.2: Schematic chart showing inter-linkages

between the human and natural sphere (developed
on the basis of Baines in Peet, 1992

Societal acceptance will affect

policy at community, regional,
country and international level

Environmental hazards caused by pollution, depletion

or degradation of the natural resource base will trigger
a response loop back to society. Society is also fed
with knowledge, generated from science on the
functioning, limitations, and complexities of the natural
resource base. Recognition of threats from
inappropriate resource use together with knowledge
flows influence the process of public awareness and
societal acceptance of a problem and result in the
search for an adequate response. Societal acceptance
will depend on prevailing perceptions and economic
opportunities, which in turn emanate from complex
issues like religious beliefs, social and cultural
environment, societal structure, education etc.
Moreover, societal acceptance will affect policy at
several levels: community level, regional, country and
international level. This societal sphere laying the ethic
and moral foundation that filters hazard responses and
knowledge into public awareness is denoted as the
human web in Figure IV.2.
Environmental policy making therefore can be defined
as a societal response mechanism that is used in
situations when the economic market mechanisms
and/or "free" use model do not work. Factors
influencing environmental policy making include not
only knowledge of hazards and the fundamental
principles of the natural resource base, but also the
social and cultural characters embodied in a society.

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Design for environmental policies

The design of environmental policies is primarily aimed
at finding a way of dealing with public or common
goods that are subject to negative external impacts.
Consequently, in order to understand the design
approaches to environmental policies it is essential to
iterate the essential economic characteristics of
common goods.

Policy design is a continuous

process that involves policy
making, implementation,
monitoring and evaluation

Water flow is a perfect example of such a good. Water

is subject to significant negative impacts through
pollution and depletion as a result of market failure,
where the invisible hand does not guide the individuals
operating in the market. The tendency with a common
pool good like water is a natural tendency of behaving
as a free-rider, i.e., using the resource without worrying
about its deterioration.
Figure IV.3 indicates the general stages of the policy
formulation cycle (Janssen, 1994 after Winsemius,
1986). Recognition of the environmental problem
(which as discussed has strong social, political and
power connotations) is followed by the design phase
(policy-analysis and policy making). The design
approach (state interventions, behaviour modifications
or liability interventions) will determine the type of
policy developed. The control phase includes
implementation of the policy and the measures to
enforce compliance among the affected actors.

Figure IV.3: The policy cycle

Policy analysis constitutes an important step in the
policy cycle that aims to generate and present useful
information for decision-makers. The analysis requires
that the actors involved have among other
characteristics common sense, experience, knowledge
and coordination. This process should be systematic
and methodical in order to find good solutions, since
optimal solutions hardly exist. Finally, uncertainties

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should be taken into account and high risk strategies


Policy analysis aims to generate

and present useful information for

Policy analysis can be defined as a systematic

investigation of complex policy alternatives as to assist
decision-makers in choosing a preferred course of
action in the public sector under uncertain conditions.
Policy analysis is not the decision-making, and
decisions or choices should not be made by the
analyst but by the decision-makers. The analyst should
go through the following phases in order to generate
valuable information for the decision-maker:

Problem analysis,
establishing criteria,
identifying alternatives,
evaluating alternatives, and
ranking alternatives (optional).

Baines, J.T. 1989. An integrated framework for interpreting sustainable development: Ecological
principles and institutional arrangements for the sustainable development of natural and physical
resources. In Peet, J. 1992. Energy and the ecological economics of sustainability. Island Press.
Washington DC.
Falloux, F., and Talbot, L.M. 1993. Crisis and opportunity - Environment and development in Africa.
EarthScan Publications Ltd, London, UK. p 355
Janssen, R. 1994. Multiobjective decision support for environmental management. Kluwer
Academic Publishers, the Netherlands. p 231
Winsemius, P. 1986. Gast in eigen huis. Beschouwingen over milieu management. Samson, H.D.
Tjeenk Willink, Alphen aan den Rijn.

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UNIT V: Water use, impacts, benefits and climate change

The uses, demand for, and value of

There are a large number of water uses one can think
of: rainfed agriculture, irrigation, domestic use,
industrial and commercial use, navigation, recreation,
hydropower generation, environmental uses etc.

Water uses can be withdrawal or

non-withdrawal; and consumptive or

We can distinguish withdrawal uses (such us

agriculture, mining, electric power) and non-withdrawal
(such as navigation, recreation, waste water disposal
by dilution) uses; as well as consumptive and nonconsumptive uses. Consumptive use is the portion of
the water withdrawn that is no longer available for
further use, because of evaporation, transpiration,
incorporation in manufactured products and crops, use
by human beings and livestock, or pollution.
Water demand is a loosely used (and often abused)
term. In purely economic terms, demand is defined as
the quantity of a particular good (or service) that a
consumer is willing to purchase at a given price.
Demand is therefore a function of willingness (to
consume) and the ability (to purchase at a given
price). However, the term demand is often used to
imply the requirement of a certain consumer or group
of consumers, completely independent of their ability.

Water consumption, use, requirement

and demand are often confused

The amount of water supplied will often differ from the

amount demanded. Generally a portion of the water
used is actually consumed. Return flows from a city, for
example, may amount to as much as 40-80% of the
amount of raw water abstracted. Return flows from
irrigated fields may be 10-30%. In both cases the water
quality of these return flows may make them unfit for
re-use without further treatment or dilution.
A similar confusion exists when talking about water
losses. It depends on the scale whether water is
considered a loss or not. At the global scale, no water
is ever lost. At the scale of an irrigation scheme, a
water distribution efficiency of 60% indeed means that
slightly less than half of the water is lost, i.e. does not
reach its intended destination (namely the roots of the
plants). Part of this water, however, may return to the
river and be available to a downstream user. At the
scale of the catchment, therefore, it is the net
consumptive use, i.e. the transpiration of crops (60% in
this example) plus the evaporation part of the water
losses that can be considered as the loss.

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Water losses can be better understood

by considering the scale at which they
are to be measured

The value of water differs, depending

when and how it occurs

The different sectors of an economy have added

values according to the various uses they give to water.
Some sectors may use little water but contribute
significantly to the gross national product (GNP) of an
economy. Other sectors may use a lot of water but
contribute relatively little to that economy. The added
value of some uses of water is difficult, if not impossible
to measure. Let us for instance consider the domestic
use of water: how can the value of an adequate water
supply to this sector be quantified? What is the value of
water left in rivers in order to satisfy environmental
water requirements?
Although being part of one hydrological cycle, the value
of water differs, depending when and how it occurs.
Whereas rainfall is generally considered to be a free
commodity, of all types of water it has the highest
value. This is because rainfall represents the starting
point of a long path through the hydrological cycle
(infiltration, recharge of groundwater, transpiration,
moisture recycling, surface runoff, seepage, reinfiltration) (Hoekstra et al., 2001). Rainfall therefore
has many opportunities for use and re-use: in rainfed
agriculture, irrigation, for urban and industrial use,
environmental services etc.
Water flowing in rivers has a lower value than rainfall.
But also this blue water has different values,
depending on when it occurs. Water flowing during the
dry season (the base flow resulting from groundwater
seepage) has a relatively high value, because it is a
fairly dependable resource just when demand for it is
highest. In contrast, peak flows during the rainy season
have a lower value, although these peaks provide
many important services, such as recharging aquifers,
water pulses essential for ecosystems, and filling of
reservoirs for later use. The highest peak flows may
occur as destructive floods and have, then a negative
value assigned.

Water supply
The amount of water supply including water
conveyance losses refers to the total water volume
supplied by various water source projects to water
users. It is calculated in terms of surface water and
groundwater sources (reuse of treated wastewater and
supply of rain collection works). The amount of direct
utilization of seawater (not including desalinated water)
is calculated separately and is not summarized into the
total amount of water supply.
Although most countries give first priority to satisfying
basic human needs for water, one fifth of the worlds
population is without access to safe drinking water and
half of the population is without access to adequate

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Meeting water supply and sanitation

needs for urban and rural areas
represents one of the most serious
challenges for developing countries

The implementation of IWRM can

foster the achievement of the MDGs
in the water supply and sanitation

sanitation. These service deficiencies primarily affect

the poorest sectors of the population in developing
countries. In these countries, meeting water supply and
sanitation needs for urban and rural areas represents
one of the most serious challenges now and in the
years ahead. Halving the proportion of the population
lacking water and sanitation services by 2015 is one of
the Millennium Development Goals1. Doing so will
require a substantial re-orientation of investment
priorities, and will be very much more readily achieved
in those countries that are implementing IWRM. Some
of the benefits that the implementation of IWRM can
bring to the water supply and sanitation sector are:

Above all, properly applied IWRM would lead to the

water security of the worlds poor and unserved
being assured. The implementation of IWRM based
policies should mean increased security of
domestic water supplies, as well as reduced costs
of treatment, as pollution is tackled more

Recognizing the rights of people, and particularly

women and the poor, to a fair share of water
resources for both domestic and household-based
productive uses, leads inevitably to the need to
ensure proper representation of these groups in
(governmental) bodies that make decisions on
water allocation.

The focus on integrated management and efficient

use should be a stimulus to the water sector to
promote recycling, reuse and waste reduction. High
pollution charges backed by rigid enforcement have
led to impressive improvements in industrial wateruse efficiencies in the industrialised countries, with
benefits for domestic water supplies and the

Past sanitation systems often focused on removing

the waste problem from the areas of human
occupation, thus keeping the human territories
clean and healthy, but merely replacing the waste
problem, with often detrimental environmental
effects elsewhere. Introduction of IWRM will
improve the opportunity for introduction of
sustainable sanitation solutions that aim to
minimise waste-generating inputs, and reduction of
waste outputs, and to solve sanitation problems as
close as possible to where they occur.

At a practical local level, improved integration of

The Millennium Development Goals are an ambitious agenda for reducing poverty and improving lives that world leaders agreed on at
the Millennium Summit in September 2000. For each goal one or more targets have been set, most for 2015, using 1990 as a
benchmark. More information can be found on the UNDP website at

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Achieving integrated management

will require a balance between tradeoffs and management decisions while
satisfying demands of the different

water resource management could lead to greatly

reduced costs for provision of domestic water
services. A measure is for instance the design of
irrigation schemes with a domestic water
component explicitly involved from the start.

Water demand vs. supply in the MENA

According to the World Bank (2007) in the past
decades, in the Middle East and North Africa region,
the water supply and sanitation services have
expanded significantly, contrary to the wastewater
collection and treatment. The emplacement of dams
and reservoirs has allowed most MENA countries to
store a large share of surface water, generating as well
environmental problems due to reduced in-stream
flows. Furthermore, low cost drilling technology has
fostered uncontrolled, unsustainable water pumping
from underground sources by individual users on a
large scale.
More than 85% of the totally available water is destined
to irrigation use. Irrigation networks are widespread in
the region and continuously expanding, creating
excess demand and becoming a competition to the
users in growing urban populations.
Finally, high subsidies on water, expensive and low
efficient water infrastructures, increased water demand
by urban and agricultural sectors, absence of effective
regulations, and reduced returns on irrigation
investments have generated economical and social
problems in various countries in the region (Figure

Figure V.1: The tendencies of the MENA

region constitute a complicated context for
the water sector (Varis, 2008 In (ed.)
Biswas et al 2008)

Figure V.2 shows the water use in MENA compared to

other regions worldwide. It indicates a low availability of
water resources accompanied with inefficient water

Figure V.2: Percentage of total renewable water

resources withdrawn by Region (World Bank, 2007)

Page 22

Climate change and water resources

Increasing anthropogenic green house

concentrations in the atmosphere can
lead to increased global average

Since the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of the

IPCC became public in 2007, there has been no dearth
of scientific evidence about global climate change.
Atmospheric warming is unequivocally evident from
observed increases in global average air temperatures,
ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and
ice and rising global average sea level. Concerning the
attribution of the observed increase in global average
temperatures since the mid-20th century, the AR4
states that this is very likely due to observed increase
in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations
(IPCC, 2007a: 10).
There is no doubt that this climate change is going to
have impacts on water and many other sectors that are
sensitive to climate variability and change. Therefore, it
is imperative to develop a good understanding of some
of the basic aspects of climate change and how it is
detected before considering the impacts of such

Observed changes and trends in the

water cycle
Many studies have reported evidences of observed
changes and trends in precipitation and other
associated hydrological variables.

Changes in global trends of

hydrological variables have been
reported by many studies

Hydrology and water resources

Recent evidence shows that areas most affected by
increasing droughts are located in arid and semi-arid
regions due to the already warm and dry climate (high
confidence). In the last 20 years, there are documented
increases in flash floods and landslides due to
intensive and heavy rain in mountain areas during the
warm season (high confidence).
Coastal processes and zones
Widespread coastal erosion and wetland losses are
occurring under current rates of sea level rise, but at
present these are mostly the consequences of
anthropogenic modification of the shoreline (medium
confidence). In many low-lying coastal areas,
development in conjunction with sea level rise over the
last century has exacerbated the damage to fixed
structures from modern storms, which would have been
relatively minor a century ago.
Marine and freshwater biological systems
Many of the observed responses in marine and
freshwater systems have been associated with rising
water temperatures (high confidence). Climate change,

Page 23

in tandem with other human impacts, has already

caused substantial damage to coral reefs (high
confidence). The documented poleward movement of
plankton by 10 degrees in the North Atlantic is larger
than any documented terrestrial study. Observations
indicate that lakes and rivers around the world are
warming, with effects on thermal structure, lake
chemistry, abundance and productivity, community
composition, phenology, distribution and migration
(high confidence).

Projected climate changes by region

Precipitation intensity

Dry days

Although climate change is expected to increase global

temperatures, its impact on water resources is more
complex and varies across the world. While some
regions are expected to receive more precipitation,
other regions will face increased water stress due to
significant reduction in net precipitation. The recent
IPCC report (Bates et al., 2008) provides an overview
of projected impacts on the water resources of different
regions of the globe.
Climate change is expected to increase the frequency
and intensity of both floods and droughts in many parts
of the world, as shown in Figure V.3, with stippling
indicating regions where at least five of the models
agree that the changes are statistically significant. The
results show that precipitation intensity will increase in
high latitude and subtropical regions, while drought
conditions will intensify in the Mediterranean basin,
western USA, South Africa and north-eastern Brazil.
The following is a brief summary of expected impacts
of climate change in regions related to MENA (Bates et
al., 2008):

Figure V.3: Global projections of

precipitation intensity and dry days
(annual maximum number of consecutive
dry days) (Adapted from Bates et al., 2008)

Climate change is expected to exacerbate water
scarcity conditions in northern and southern Africa. In
contrast, eastern and western Africa is expected to
receive more precipitation. Severe drought conditions
in the Sahel have persisted for the past three decades.
The Nile Delta is expected to be severely impacted by
rising sea levels.
Climate change is expected to reduce precipitation in
the headwaters of the Euphrates and Tigris. Winter
precipitation is expected to decrease over the Indian
subcontinent, leading to greater water stress, while
monsoon rain events are expected to intensify.
Maximum and minimum monthly flows of the Mekong
River are expected to increase and decrease,
respectively. The observed decline of glaciers is

Page 24

expected to continue reducing water supplies to large


Importance of IWRM for adaptation to

climate change

The implementation of IWRM can

help vulnerable communities to cope
with climate change impacts, in part
due to its flexibility and adaptive

Increased reduction of vulnerability

in communities can be achieved
through provision of adaptation
assistance at a local level

Water is the first sector to be affected by changes in

climate. Climate change leads to intensification of the
hydrological cycle and subsequently it has serious
effects on the frequency and intensity of extreme
events. Sea level rise, increased evaporation,
unpredictable precipitation and prolonged droughts are
just a few manifestations of climate variability directly
impacting on availability and quality of water.
Through management of the resource at the most
adequate level, the organization of participation in
management practices and policy development, and
assuring that the most vulnerable groups are
considered, IWRM instruments directly assist
communities to cope with climate variability. In 2001
the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC) recognized the potential of IWRM to be used as
a means of reconciling varied and changing water uses
and demands, and it appears to offer greater flexibility
and adaptive capacity than conventional water
resources management approaches. It is critical that
climate change in water governance be considered in
the context of reducing vulnerability of poor people, in
maintaining sustainable livelihoods and supporting
sustainable development. The IPCC report makes
recommendations on adaptation, vulnerability and
capacity enhancement; the main recommendation
asserts that reducing the vulnerability of nations or
communities to climate change requires an increased
ability to adapt to its effects. Working to improve the
adaptive capacity at community level is likely to have a
broader and more long-lasting effect on reducing
vulnerability. Tailoring adaptation assistance to local
needs requires the following actions:
Addressing real local vulnerabilities;
Involving real stakeholders early and substantively;
Connecting with local decision-making processes.

How can IWRM help address climate

As demonstrated earlier in this chapter, IWRM offers
these tools and instruments that deal with access to
water and protecting the integrity of the ecosystem,
thus safeguarding water quality for future generations.
In this way, IWRM can assist communities to adapt to

Page 25

changing climatic conditions that limit water availability

or may lead to excessive floods or droughts.
Key water resources management functions are:

IWRM deals with access to water

through management at the most
adequate level, stakeholder
participation and capacity building

Water allocation;
Pollution control;
Financial management;
Flood and drought management;
Information management;
Basin planning; and
Stakeholder participation.
These functions are instrumental for integrated
resources management and can be of help in coping
with climate variability. For example:
In monitoring water quantity and quality
developments, management can pro-actively take
action towards adaptation.
Management of floods and droughts, as a key
function of WRM, allows for direct intervention in
cases of extreme events.
In basin planning, risk assessment and adaptation
measures can be incorporated.
Water can be allocated to the most efficient and
effective use to react to climate variability in a
flexible manner.
In brief, IWRM makes it easier to respond to changes
in water availability. Risks can be better identified and
mitigated in the process of basin planning. When action
is needed, stakeholder participation helps to mobilize
communities and generate action. Water users can be
stimulated to use the resource sustainably in the face
of changing water conditions.

Bates B.C., Kundzewicz Z.W., Wu S. and Palutikof J.P. (Eds) (2008) Climate Change and Water.
Technical Paper of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC Secretariat: Geneva,
Cap-Net/GWP. 2006. Integrated Water Resources Management Plans.
CPWC (2009) Business. Perspective Paper on Water and Climate Change Adaptation. The Cooperative Programme on Water and Climate (CPWC): Den Haag, The Netherlands.

Page 26

CPWC (2009) The Changing Himalayas. Perspective Paper on Water and Climate Change
Hoekstra, A.Y., H.H.G. Savenije and A.K. Chapagain, 2001. An integrated approach towards
assessing the value of water: A case study on the Zambezi basin. Integrated Assessment 2: 199208.
IPCC (2008) Technical Paper VI: Climate Change and Water. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change (IPCC).
Savenije, H.H.G., and P. van der Zaag, 2002, Water as an economic good and demand
management, paradigms with pitfalls. Water International 27(1) pp. 98-104.
Varis, O. 2008. Right to Water: The Millennium Development Goals and Water in
the MENA Region. In Biswas, A., Rached E., Tortajada C. 2008. Water as a Human Right for the
Middle East and North Africa. Routledge publishers. pp 35-58
World Bank. 2007. Factors inside and outside the water sector drive MENAs water outcomes.

Page 27

Page 28

UNIT VI: Stakeholder participation and conflict resolution in IWRM

Stakeholder participation
Analytical tools in natural resources
management presented limitations
dealing with stakeholders interests
and legitimacy of decisions

Public participation constitutes a key

component of good governance

Traditionally, natural resources management consisted

in a set of analytical tools that provided data to
decision-makers in order to better allocate resources
and set policies on its use and exploitation. Through the
years and the gained experience, it was observed that
these methodologies presented limitations and
weaknesses dealing with stakeholders interests and
legitimacy of the decisions. As a result, the participatory
approach was introduced in the natural resources
The processes and methodologies, directed to achieve
an improved public involvement, can contribute to the
creation of a more informed policy, provide a normative
justification for governance, and foster social,
psychological, and political empowerment as principal
benefits (Steelman and Ascher, 1997). In this sense,
public2 participation in policy making stretches the gap
between traditional representative governance and
interest group involvement.
It is also argued that policy-making effectiveness can
be improved when including public participation or
involvement, since the legitimacy of decisions will be

Identification of key stakeholders and

assessment of their interests will
allow all the involved to gain better
understanding of the threats and
opportunities to be faced

Although the final decisions will be taken by the

decision-makers, the stakeholders involved can
contribute to the process with additional knowledge
about the situation at stake, either from their personal
experience or from expert assessments (Grimble and
Chan, 1995).
In the water sector,
IWRM constitutes a
multidisciplinary approach and therefore has to be
promoted as a collaborative framework among all
relevant stakeholders. The first challenge is to establish
a mechanism with a clearly stated purpose in order to
join together all major groups involved in IWRM:
government, municipalities, water regulatory bodies,
local communities, academic institutions, industries,
farmers, NGOs, etc. Thorough understanding among
stakeholders of the cross-sectoral nature of water
problems and the need for a new development
paradigm towards integrating the technical, economic,

In this lecture note the terms public and stakeholder will be used indifferently to mean all those affected

Page 29

environmental, social and legal aspects of water

management will be the key to ensure mutual trust and
Understanding stakeholders and their interests is
crucial to gain insight in existing and emerging threats
and opportunities - and vice versa. The engagement of
a wide range of stakeholders can also contribute to the
development of participatory forms of governance,
collaboration or partnership that will sustain IWRM
efforts over the long term.
Three main stakeholder groups can be distinguished:

The stakeholders can be identified as

influential, collaborators or
knowledge holders

1. Influential stakeholders
Those who own, directly manage, or harvest
resources, or exert strong control over large
holdings or resource stocks. These include
individual, corporate and public agency entities
stakeholders, such as associations of smallscale farmers or fishermen who vote as a block.
Those who strongly influence the allocation,
management and use of natural resources.
Again, this may be individual entities or powerful
consortia (e.g., selected sectors of the central
representatives, corporate heads, major political
contributors, non-profit interest groups). It is thus
important to understand the laws, regulations,
policies, political alliances and cultural norms
that create or favour centres of influence.
Those who are marginalized. These are
significant stakeholders in terms of their
dependence on, desire to gain access to, or
influence over land, water, and natural
resources, but are hindered from doing so
because of their status in society. Examples
include indigenous peoples in MENA region
for instance Nordic tribes (Bedouins) who lost
access to, or control over large land areas and
wish to regain it, or small-scale fishermen, who
cannot compete with the large scale fishery
2. Potential collaborators
"Collaborator" is used loosely here to include
any individual, organisation, or group that can
contribute information to the IWRM process, is
willing to participate in a consultation process,
or, at a later stage, will work with other

Page 30

stakeholders as a coalition partner in carrying

out a specific project or programme.
Collaborators are not necessarily allies or
groups that share similar values, but they are
willing to exchange information and views on a
regular basis. An effective network of
collaborators can often help generate quick
responses to threats and opportunities. The
term "partnership" implies a closer working
relationship with groups or entities (public or
private), whose objectives are complementary to
the basin-wide targets.

Although conflict can start as a

dispute over water, there are many
other interests guiding actors

3. Knowledge holders
Those with both specialised and general
knowledge about basin-specific relevant key
issues and variables: these sources can map
and explain the human infrastructure and landuse activities in the basin and identify most
agreements and economic forces that are
governing and influencing natural resource use
and management.
Those with knowledge of resource and
biodiversity management practices in the basin.
For example, which fisheries, agriculture, forest,
or mining management practices are compatible
with the healthy biological and socio-economic
functioning of the basin.
At a basin level, a number of different tools and
approaches can be used to gather information about
stakeholder groups and build collaborative relationships
or even partnerships. Which tools or approaches are
chosen is specific to the case.

Conflict resolution
In natural resources management, conflicts can be
defined as a competition and potential disagreement
between two or more stakeholder groups over the use
of one or more resource. In the water sector the most
common causes for conflict are:
state boundaries and catchment areas do not
increase in water scarcity,
pollution/water quality issues,
water (ab)use,
big engineering projects (dams etc.),
few or conflicting laws,
culture on water,

Page 31

access to water/distribution of water, or

Information and communication deficiencies
To solve conflicts one should take into consideration a
wide range of factors such as the water distribution, the
presence and position of groups representing
minorities, the culture of the people involved, the
economic issues, feasibility, etc. The reason behind
taking all these matters into account is that although a
conflict may begin as a dispute over water, the reality is
that there are more interests driving stakeholders
positions. In this sense, to solve the problem it should
be looked from a broader perspective, that means
enlarge the pie.
The first step in conflict resolution will be the
identification of (key) stakeholders and their interests.
Then the assessment and comparison of their sets of
interest and examination of inherent conflicts,
compatibilities and trade-offs can be performed.
However, there is no ideal methodology or a rigid set
of steps to follow in order to solve a conflict. It is
recommended to use a combination of different
methods, disciplines as well as to take in consideration
the policy used in other Ministries or Organizations.

Figure VI.1: Scale of potential conflict

intensity according to Le Huu Ti

According to Le Huu Ti conflict intensity can range from

harmony to war. Figure VI.1 shows that conflict
prevention methods can be used until the dispute
reaches tension. If no agreement is gained, conflict
resolution methods should be applied to avoid violent
extremes such as war.

Conflict resolution instruments

While a conflict may be difficult, it is by no means a
destructive process. As it has already been pointed out,
a conflict can play a positive role if we have the
necessary skills to create a synergy for the well being of
all contending parties. There are no specifically
standarized techniques, both formal and informal, to
manage conflicts, although existent techniques are
based on intuition, logics & commutation arts. The most
commonly known methods of conflict resolution are
(CAP-NET, 2008):
Short of coercion and physical violence, the ultimate
formal mechanism for conflict resolution is taking
recourse to the legal system of the country. In a legal
proceeding, the parties to a dispute are heard by a
court of law that decides upon the case on the basis of
existing laws in force in the country. In many instances
this, maybe the only way to resolve a conflict, but in
many other cases, it may not be the case.

Page 32

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

To overcome the limitations of litigation, alternative
dispute resolution (ADR) techniques have been
developed in the West in the past century and are
frequently applied in many jurisdictions successfully.
ADR techniques, with their emphasis on consensusseeking outcomes, resonate with many traditional
societies. We shall have a quick review of those

Some conflict resolution instruments

are: litigation, alternative dispute
resolution, negotiation, facilitation,
mediation, arbitration and conflict

Negotiation is a process where the parties to the
dispute meet to reach a mutually acceptable
solution. There is no facilitation or mediation by a
third party: each party represents its own interest.
Large disputes over public policy are increasingly
being settled using processes based on mediation
and negotiation, commonly referred to as
negotiated rule making or regulatory negotiation.
Representatives of interested parties are invited to
participate in negotiations to agree on new rules
governing issues, such as industrial safety
standards and environmental pollution from waste
Facilitation is a process in which an impartial
individual participates in the design and conduct of
problem-solving meetings to help the parties jointly
diagnose, create and implement jointly owned
solutions. This process is often used in situations
involving multiple parties, issues and stakeholders,
and where issues are unclear. Facilitators create
the conditions where everybody is able to speak
freely but they are not expected to volunteer their
own ideas or participate actively in moving the
parties towards agreement. Facilitation may be the
first step in identifying a dispute resolution process.
Mediation is a process of settling conflict in which
an outside party oversees the negotiation between
the two disputing parties. The parties choose an
acceptable mediator to guide them in designing a
process and reaching an agreement on mutually
acceptable solutions. The mediator tries to create a
safe environment for parties to share information,
address underlying problems and vent emotions. It
is more formal than facilitation, and parties often
share the costs of mediation. It is useful if the
parties have reached an impasse.
Arbitration is usually used as a less formal
alternative to litigation. It is a process in which a

Page 33

neutral outside party or a panel meets with the

parties in a dispute, hears presentations from each
side and makes an award. Such a decision may be
binding or not according to agreements reached
between the parties prior to formal commencement
of hearings. The parties choose the arbitrator
through consensus and may set the rules that
govern the process. Arbitration is often used in the
business world and in cases where parties desire a
quick solution to their problems.

In a river basin context, the creation

of a setting where stakeholders can
meet and communicate with each
other can aid to prevent conflicts

Preventing conflict before conflict begins:

Consensus building /Stakeholder approach
It is generally recognised among water experts that
stakeholder participation is key to sustainable resource
use and management. Conflict resolution techniques
are generally employed once a dispute has already
arisen. However, anticipating the forms of future conflict
is an important element of conflict resolution itself. In
the context of a river basin, where disputes arise from
time to time, it is useful to give a home to these issues
through the creation of a setting where stakeholders
can regularly meet and communicate with each other
regarding interests, needs and positions. While there
are no uniform methodologies for undertaking the
process, the important thing is to create an enabling
environment whereby the stakeholders are able to
actively participate in the policy dialogues and
subsequent planning and design process.

Network management

Water problems are becoming

increasingly interconnected and
complex for only one institution to
handle with them

It has become increasingly evident that the water

problems of a country can no longer be resolved in a
traditional approach by the water professionals and/or
the water ministries alone. The water problems are
becoming increasingly interconnected with other
development-related issues and also with social,
economic, environmental, legal, and political factors at
local and national levels and sometimes at regional and
even international levels.
Already, many of the water problems have become too
large, complex, interconnected to be handled by any
one single institution, irrespective of the authority and
resources given to it, technical expertise and
management capacity available, level of political
support, and all the good intentions
The traditional model of governmental management is
characterized by:
Policies being guided by a single, governmental
This guidance being based on centrally defined,

Page 34

hierarchically ranked goals

The goals serve as starting point in the search for
alternative solutions
Once the alternative has been chosen, emphasis
turns to instrument action to attain the goals
The choice of goals is based on scientific research
which provides certainty with respect to choice of

Network management emerges as an

alternative to the traditional model
of governmental management

Network management is an alternative means to

address this situation. Several of its characteristics
differ from those of the traditional form of government
control and management. The most obvious one is that
the particular policy objectives are not pursued in
isolation; rather, these targets are always related to
other social goals. Furthermore, there is less concern
for the intended final situation. In contrast, more
attention is devoted to the process that has to be set in
motion in order to achieve this situation. Finally,
coercion as an instrument is replaced by consultation
and negotiation among public actors and between
public and private actors. This is suited to a government
that puts less emphasis on regulation but instead
encourages civil organizations to manage their own
Network management is essentially based on
collaborative or joint conflict resolution. The key
concepts are consensus building, joint problem solving
and negotiation. The methods aim at starting a
structured negotiation process among the parties
involved in the dispute. The objective of the negotiation
is to convert win-lose negotiations into joint problemsolving efforts. The intended outcome of the
negotiations is a package deal in which each party finds
his or her interests sufficiently expressed.

Network management uses

consensus building, joint problem
solving and negotiation to reach
collaborative conflict resolution

Such network management is applicable when there is

a mixed-motive situation where the actors involved are
facing cooperative and confrontational challenges;
when parties involved perceive a mutual dependence;
they must judge themselves to be incapable of
achieving their self-interest independently and each of
the parties must be of the opinion that voluntary
participation in the joint dialogue to solve the problem
will yield more benefits than losses.

Network management characteristics:

interdependence of all actors involved
utilization of such dependencies and coaxing of
most relevant actors into cooperation
establishment of a new organizational framework to
facilitate such cooperation
Definition of the problem as a generic issue of social

Page 35

development (water policy objectives are not the

only focus).
Network management seeks to rectify the fragmented
problem-solving capacity. Generally, many public and
private actors have an interest in resolving these
problems, though none are able to handle them on their
own. Yet these actors do not join forces, because they
often represent divergent interests and usually entertain
their own definition of the problem. Furthermore, it is
unlikely that the parties will be organized in a strict
hierarchy; they will probably be dependent on each
other in some respects and independent in others.

Crucial aspects of the design of network


Parties (public and private actors)

will de dependant on each other in
some aspects and independent in
others, when trying to jointly solve a

communication processes:
a. An initiative stage: serves to create support for
network management, to develop organizational
conditions and mobilization of relevant public
and private parties
b. A cognitive stage: to map the different
perceptions of the problem by way of an open
dialogue and then to foster a concerted effort to
form a shared perspective. If consensus is
achieved on the definition of the problem, then
policy objectives can be further specified.
c. A productive stage: decisions must be made,
while compromises on directions for solutions,
on measures, on targets, and on policy
measures to be implemented must be prepared
in detail. The sacrifices from and benefits to the
various parties will become clear. The
bargaining will be cut-throat at this point.
d. A formalizing stage: where the plan is formally
worked out.

Selective activation of actors

The success of selectively activating a policy network
depends upon an accurate assessment of the
indispensable actors, the willingness of other actors to
participate and the opposition of actors who were not
selected. Legitimacy is an essential source of power,
particularly with regard to successful implementation of
a plan.
Formation of a specific organizational structure
Organizational forms diverge widely. The main points
that should be agreed on are financing of the
organization, human resources: information delivery,
and the time frame for reaching agreement. Putting a
time limit on negotiations prevents the various parties
from dragging their feet during the decision-making

Page 36

Definition of the policy problem
One of the main challenges is actually to reach
agreement on the specification of policy objectives. Put
differently, the more room for negotiation and thus
the more leeway to bring up a party's own interests
the more willing the parties will be to take part in the
policy process. In contrast, setting strict policy
objectives beforehand will deter the actors from taking
part and thus will usually be counterproductive.

The involvement of a mediator in the

negotiation can impose structure on
the process as a neutral third-party
who has no authoritative decisionmaking power

Enlistment of a mediator;
A mediator may perform an important function by
imposing structure on the processes of negotiation
among parties with different interests. Mediation is the
intervention into a dispute or negotiation by an
acceptable, impartial, and neutral third-party who has
no authoritative decision-making power to assist
disputing parties. The mediator may assume a wide
variety of roles and functions to help parties resolve
conflicts: opener of communications channels,
legitimizer, process facilitator, trainer, resource
expander, problem explorer, scapegoat and leader. The
role of a mediator is thus by no means straightforward.
The tasks that a mediator should perform have to be
determined anew for each bargaining process. Besides,
the role of a mediator can change as negotiations
Formulation of conditions for implementation.
Once a policy is formulated, it will not automatically be
implemented by way of all manner of technical and
administrative maneuvers.

Assessing network management

Network management may be assessed from different

Four angles can be considered for

assessing network management:
initial situation, course of the
process, legitimation and policy

Angle of the stagnant initial situation. The judgment

is then based on the added value to be derived from
the process of network management as compared
to the original situation.
Angle of the course of the process. The criteria
include the degree of mobilization, the (rapid)
progress of the bargaining process, and good
prospects for an all-gain outcome (that is,
consensus among the parties concerned).
Angle of legitimation. The judgment is related to the
democratic level of the decision-making process
and to the support for the policy among society at
Angle of policy objectives. A judgment in terms of
goal attainment and effectiveness.

Page 37

The process of consensus building is more effective

under the following conditions:
It should be demonstrated that continuation of the
existing situation is not advantageous to any of the
parties involved.
It should be made clear that the parties concerned
are not capable of independently breaking an
existing impasse or of bringing a solution to the
environmental problems any closer.
A structured process of interaction and
communication should be set in motion involving the
public and private actors who have the most interest
in the issue. The objectives should be placed in a
wider developmental perspective (for a policy field
or region).
The interaction and communication process should
lead to a developmental perspective that the actors
involved take as a package deal. In the end, each of
the participants should derive more benefits on
balance than they stand to lose with this package.

Potential drawbacks
Network management also has some major drawbacks.
First, consensus may be reached whereby each party is
satisfied but the particular problem is not resolved.
Furthermore, it should be borne in mind that network
management is risky. Of course, some degree of
uncertainty is due to objective but unknown and
unpredictable occurrences and developments in the
arena. But some risks are caused by the strategic
behavior of actors in the policy network.

Biswas A.K. 2004. Integrated Water Resources Management: A reassessment. Water International 29
(2), 248-256
Cap-Net. 2008. Training material: Conflict resolution and negotiation skills for Integrated Water
Resources Management. UNDP.
Glasbergen P. 1995. Managing Environmental Disputes. Kluwer Academic Publishers
Grimble, R., Chan, M. 1995. Stakeholder analysis for natural resources management in developing
countries: Some guidelines for making management more participatory and effective. Natural
Resources Forum. Vol. 19. N2. pp 113-124
Steelman, T., Ascher W. 1997. Public involvement methods in natural resource policy making:
Advantages, disadvantages and trade-offs. Policy Sciences. Vol. 30. Kluwer Academic Publishers.
The Netherlands. pp. 71 - 90.

Page 38

UNIT VII: IWRM planning approaches

Theoretical base: planning,

principles, policies, strategies

Water resources planning is a

continuous process of making
policy choices and decisions about
alternative ways of using water

Figure. VII.1: Steps in decision-making



Planning (used here in a generic sense as including

policy formulation) is a means to improve and support
operational management.
For our purpose, planning can be described as the
public and balanced prioritization of policy choices and
of intended decision-making after an elaborate process
of analyzing possible scenarios and assessing relevant
argumentations. Water resources planning can thus be
understood as the continuous process of making policy
choices and decisions about alternative ways of using
the available water resources with the aim of achieving
particular goals at some time in the future. Plans are
publicly accessible outputs of decision-making and
intended actions and activities. They can have general
internal binding (directed to the Government) or
external binding (directed to the public), aiming at
continuous use for the time horizon given. Plans can
have either a strategic or an operational or a merely
informative character, and they may be directed to the
government, the public or both. Plans are developed
after a careful survey on the vision, targets and policy
objectives to change from the present situation to a
desired future situation in a river basin. A good plan
poses clear and viable objectives, indicates (the access
to) the necessary means of implementation (financial,
technical, legal, organizational, social), is technically
feasible, socially acceptable and politically viable
(Mostert, 1998).
A planning activity is normally part of a process of
decision-making that starts with the development of a
vision, followed by the formulation of policy principles,
policies and strategies. The theoretical process is
displayed in Figure VII.1.
A vision is a projection of a new, desirable situation for
the future after a process of identification, description
and analysis of relevant issues and/or problems.
Policies can be understood as the comprehensive

Page 39

formulation and formalization of principles, objectives,

targets and aims to reach specific goals at a defined
time frame or moment in the future.

The character of the process of plan

development can be final output
planning or process planning.

Strategies are the subsequent sets of measures

needed to implement policies. They often include
various different scenarios for problem resolution.
Principles are general, widely approved and socially
accepted guidelines on how to behave in the future. So
they are generally applied and repeatedly handle the
same cases in a similar way. Principles can give
direction to planning, but also to decision-making in
general at all relevant administrative levels.
The iterative process depicted in Figure VII.1 should be
considered as conducted in a holistic manner with full
utilization of relevant platforms for stakeholder
participation. The character of the process of plan
development can be twofold: final output planning or
process planning. The first approach goes directly to a
known desired situation having the means for
implementation already at hand. This approach can
only be used for short term planning, often related to
operations or immediate developments. In process
planning, the ultimate goal is not formulated or not
known and the process and procedures of planning are
as important as the objectives or even constitute
objectives themselves. This planning concept is more
dynamic, long term oriented and gives room for public
participation. When circumstances or insights change,
the planning process should enable and facilitate
A specific approach is the so called open planning
process (Mostert, 1998). The responsible authority is
during all stages of plan development in contact with
other relevant authorities and the organized
stakeholders. The keywords in this process are
weighing and valuating interests. The approach is
based upon the concept that implementation and
enforcement of planning hinges on the local ownership
of the planning process by the relevant stakeholders
and actors.

River basin management plans

One of the targeted key-outputs of a system of
integrated river basin management is the production of
river basin management plans in which the aspects of

Page 40

water quantity, water quality and environmental

integrity are maximally integrated (horizontal coordination).

River basin plans are one of the

main outcomes of integrated river
basin management

An integrated planning process can support a system

of integrated river basin management in various ways:

planning helps to assess the present and the

targeted situation in the basin and to develop a
comprehensive set of measures to reach the
targeted situation (Hofwegen and Jaspers,

planning delivers an opportunity to streamline

the participation process. It should increase the
transparency of the decision-making;

the production of plans urges the responsible

actors of decisions to participate in a process of
horizontal and vertical co-ordination.

River basin plans should contain a full consideration of

the interests involved. It should be established
according to procedures that enable full stakeholder
participation in terms of decision-making. The river
basin plan is to be composed of lower level sub-basin,
catchment or watershed plans, if the scale of the river
basin makes them necessary (vertical co-ordination).
This is easier said than done! First of all, planning is not
a uniform single level process. Plans can have a
strategic or operational character. Sometimes the only
objective is communication, sometimes far-going
decision-making is involved. Plans may address
government institutions or citizens or both. Plans may
focus on very different time horizons. And then, of
course, they may differ substantially in subject.
Crucial is that the management of water quantity, water
quality and environmental integrity is linked up as far as
strategic (policy) planning is concerned. For the sake
of uniformity and administrative simplicity, it is
advisable to reduce the number of plans. All these
aspects should not necessarily be covered in one plan.
The system of (national) environmental planning in The
Netherlands, for example, is linked up with the system
of water resources planning. The separate plans
allocate guidelines or tasks to one another and each
plan indicates on how the issues earmarked by the
other plan are dealt with. Every four years, the plans
are revised in alternating sequence.

Shared vision development

The articulation of a shared vision is a precondition for
any process of policy and strategy development for

Page 41

Legal framework



A shared vision is expressed by

national decision-makers in
agreement with the interests of the
(relevant) stakeholders

Shared vision

Figure VII.2: Crucial steps in shared

vision development process

effective and efficient water resources management.

The shared vision on the common and sustainable
utilisation of the resources of the international river
basin is expressed by the respective and applicable
national decision-makers in line with the interests of the
(relevant) stakeholders. What is a shared vision? A
shared vision:

projects a new desirable future situation;

involves an identification, description

analysis of issues and problems;

gives guidance to policy and strategy

formulation and aims at implementation;

is expressed through a platform of relevant

decision-makers; and

is underpinned by a confidence and capacity

building process.


Any process of shared vision development will be

preceded by a stage in which partners are invited to
express their interests and to establish a platform to
identify challenges, opportunities, bottlenecks and to
formulate the required policies, strategies and
approaches (Figure VII.2). The platform should have
decision-making authority, and it should reflect the
interests of the various groups of stakeholders in the
administrative regions or riparian states in case of
international rivers catchments. Preferably, a
mechanism is created to reflect the interests of the
stakeholders directly. To constitute such a platform with
a balanced political representation is probably the most
difficult stage. Precondition for a group of states to be
willing to establish a platform is the perception of a
clear self-interest, the acknowledgement of a common
problem or common opportunity. Full representation of
riparian states is of prime importance. The absence of
vital (upstream) partners in the platform might heavily
jeopardise the process of developing an effective
shared vision.
The Mekong River Commission (1995), as was its
predecessor, the Mekong Committee (1957), is
hampered by the fact that the upstream states of China
and Myanmar are not a member of the platform. These
upstream states never saw the need to boost cooperation potential through this platform (Mekong
Commission, 1999).
The process of the water ministers of the Nile riparian
countries to agree to come together and to discuss
important issues was probably the most difficult stage
in the process of the establishment of a Nile Basin
Initiative (Nile Basin Initiative, 2000). Sometimes a
disaster, like a drought or a flood, and the subsequent

Page 42

building up of international pressure can be an extra

incentive or trigger to opt for co-operation potential
rather than for potential conflict. The establishment of
the International Rhine Commission and the
enlargement of its mandate took place after a series of
serious environmental disasters (Mostert, 1998), which
influenced the public opinion and initiated cooperation.
Existing and not resolved water disputes may heavily
jeopardise the process of establishing and developing a
shared vision.
The process of formulating a shared vision, based upon
identification of opportunities, challenges and
bottlenecks, might de facto contribute to the peacefully
settling or avoidance of water disputes, although it is
primarily not designed for that purpose. It is rather
designed for fostering co-operation potential and
capitalising on that.

Commitment, values and principles

Commitment, values and

principles should be formulated in
a participatory manner

In addition to a central body and clarity about the role it

plays, there must also be clear commitment of the
entire basin community (rural and regional
communities, landholders and managers, indigenous
people, industries, businesses, special interest groups
and individuals, local governments, etc.). A jointly
formulated statement of commitment to the implications
for the behaviour of the community could be a way to
ensure buy-in, whilst at the same time it will require
parties to be aware of the IWRM initiative and what it
Also among the most complex issues surrounding
IWRM are joint agreements of shared values and
principles. They set the "rules of the game" to which
partners are expected to adhere. Again, these values
and principles should be formulated in a participatory
manner and not be enforced top-down.

Examples of shared values

Courage: to take difficult decisions and courage to

experiment with innovative, new approaches.

Inclusiveness: building relationships based on trust

and sharing, considering the needs of future
generations, and working together in a true
partnership. Ensuring the participation of all
partners and ensuring that all partners have the
capacity to be fully engaged.

Commitment: to be decisive and take the longterm view, aiming for stability in decision-making.
Commitment to take a Basin approach.

Page 43

Respect and honesty: respecting each other's

views and the reality of each other's situation. Act
with integrity, openness and honesty, be fair and
credible and share knowledge and information.

Flexibility: willingness to accept reforms where is

needed and make changes to continuously
improve actions.

Mutual Obligation: sharing responsibility and

accountability and act responsibly with fairness
and justice. Supporting each other through
necessary change.

internationally are the Dublin principles. These
principles were agreed upon at the Conference on
Water and Environment in Dublin in 1992 and are:

As fresh water sustains life, development and the

environment, a holistic approach to water
management is needed, linking social and
economic development with the protection of
natural ecosystems.


Water management should be based on a

participatory approach.


Women take a central role in the provision and

management of water.


Water should be considered an economic good,

but people should have access to clean water and
sanitation at an affordable price.

The responsibility for the planning process itself

inevitably rests with the authorities, whether they are
national agencies, regional authorities, or river basin
organizations. It is important that the responsible
authorities design a planning process that allows for
involvement and contribution from all affected parties,
including the private sector, community groups and
disadvantaged stakeholders.

Hofwegen van P., Jaspers F.G.W., 1999. Analytical Framework for Integrated Water Resources
Management, IHE Monograph 2, Inter-American Development Bank, Balkema, Rotterdam.
Mostert, E., 1998. The Allocation of Tasks and Competencies in Dutch Water Management:
Discussions, Developments and Present State, RBA Series on River Basin Administration,
Research Report No 7, RBA Centre, Delft.
Mekong Commission, 1999
Nile Basin Initiative, 2000

Page 44

UNIT VIII: Institutional and organizational arrangements for IWRM

Elements of institutional framework

Institutional framework is a broad term and consists
of the following elements: development of
organizations, creation of institutional environment
and human resources development.

Development of organizations,
institutional environment creation
and human resources development
are elements of the Institutional
Framework for IWRM

Development of organizations
First of all, some form of organisation is needed to
enable management and planning. Various types of
organizations are possible, very much dependant on
the local situation. Participation of stakeholders in
decision-making is a key element.
Institutional environment creation
A second element is the creation of an institutional
environment that consists of legal and institutional
frameworks, such as appropriate policies, legal
frameworks and mandates and definitions of the
interrelationships at different levels, as well as
procedures and working rules mainly at the
operational level.
Human resources development
Human resources are a key to the previous two
elements. Staff development, e.g. through training
and education of staff, but also the establishment of
managerial systems, are examples of this.
In this unit on institutional aspects of IWRM, some of
the cross-cutting issues will be addressed:
decentralisation, stakeholder participation, forms of
river basin organisation and capacity building.

Decentralization is the process of
transferring tasks and
competencies from the centre of
authority to other departments,
agencies or administrative levels

Within the context of integrated water resources

management, one is dealing with government
functions. Public administration covers tasks and
competencies. The term decentralisation entails the
process of transferring tasks and competencies
durably or for an indicated period of time, but not
incidentally, from the centre of authority to other
departments, agencies or administrative levels in
order to organise or implement a government
function. The purposes of decentralisation can be
manifold. A driving force for decentralisation is to

Page 45

guarantee the effectiveness and efficiency of its

measures. Another driving force for decentralisation is
the creation of transparency and the stimulation of
public accountability through participation and appeal
procedures. A modern idea behind decentralisation of
government functions is to put decision-making in the
hands of people who are well informed, who are
accessible for interested parties and are capable of
making fundamental decisions in a timely manner.
Further, for reasons of accessibility, decision-making
is supposed to take place at a level as close as
possible to the end-users.

Decentralized entities can

contribute to IWRM with more
specific local information and
closer contact with the population

There are various ways to arrange decentralisation

within public administration and from public
administration to semi-public or private organizations.
In case of integrated water resources management,
the figure of functional decentralisation is often
applied. Decentralisation is not general, but aims at
specific functions of administration, in this case the
tasks and competencies related to the function of
water resources management.
Decentralisation is not possible for tasks such as
establishing the institutional structure and formulating
policies that apply to a country as a whole. However,
decentralised governments should be involved
because of their superior information on local
conditions and because of their - usually - closer
contacts with the population. Decentralisation may
also not be possible if the decentralised governments
lack necessary managerial capacities. Solutions for
this problem could include local capacity building and
advisory services by specialised central governments.
Other solutions for the shortcomings of large
bureaucracies are privatisation and the involvement of
local institutions for managing river basins.


The three types of models for water

resources management at a basin
level are: hydrological,
administrative and coordinated




Roughly speaking, three different models exist for

IWRM (Mostert, 1998a); the hydrological model, the
administrative model and the coordinated model. In
the hydrological model, the organisational structure
for water management is based on hydrological
boundaries. In its extreme form, all water
management is in the hands of a single entity: the
river basin authority.
The administrative model is in many respects the
opposite of the hydrological model. In this model,
water management is the responsibility of provinces,
municipalities and other bodies not based on

Page 46

hydrological boundaries.
The coordinated model falls somewhere between the
hydrological and the administrative model. In this
model, water management is not conducted by river
basin authorities, but there are river basin
commissions with a coordinating task.
Tasks and competencies of the river basin
organizations may differ substantially from country to
country. A common denominating task distribution is
difficult to give, because it highly depends on scale,
physical, social and other characteristics. One could
say that the river basin authority concentrates on
collective choice functions and the sub-basin
authorities/water users associations on operational
functions (cf. Ostrom, 1990).

A clear set of standards and

regulations should determine the
aspects of representation and
distribution of tasks

It is crucial to arrange aspects of representation and

task distribution in a clear set of regulations or
standard by-laws that can be modified by the users.
Apart from rules for representation and functioning,
by-laws should also cover aspects of water resources
planning; allocation and registration of water rights;
tariff structures and fee collection; fund development
and application; monitoring arrangements; penalties
and sanctioning; conflict resolution and appeal
Is there one ideal type of river basin organizations?
No, this is not the case, as river basins show many
differences, such as (Hooper, 2006):
Differences in the physical features, levels of
management in basin settings.
Differences in priorities, like pollution,
sediment build-up in rivers, degradation of
wetlands, access to water for drinking and
growing food, eradicating poverty, stopping
groundwater overexploitation.
Differences in the stage of organizational
development, capacity of organizations and
management style.
Different basin scenarios with different
degrees of political and legal complexity
(Millington, Olson and McMillan, 2005):
- basins with strong central governments (topdown, directive);
- basins within federal nations with strong state
governments (transboundary);

Page 47

- basins shared by nations (international

transboundary waters).
As there is no ideal type of river basin organizations,
what are key ingredients for successful river basin
management? Burton (2001) listed the following key
Political will
Knowledge / capacity
Sustainable technologies
Institutional arrangements
Building on existing expertise
Community involvement
Economic prosperity
Right timing

The need for capacity building

Social consensus on institutional

arrangements is crucial

Sufficient human resources and

institutional capacity are vital at
the moment of IWRM

In many countries, the need for integrated river basin

management is widely accepted. Most countries have
water policies and strategies in place or underway
aiming at the implementation of integrated river basin
management. Interpretations on how to implement
may differ here and there on details, but there seems
to be consensus on the main stream of key-aspects.
The provision of legal frameworks is generally lagging
behind as the law is always a conservative and slow
reaction on changes in society. Crucial is the social
consensus on institutional arrangements for
implementation and the development thereof hinges
heavily on institutional capacities. With regard to this,
the picture in developing countries can still be
improved. The capacity to implement the necessary
institutional arrangements is very variable and hence
the stage of implementation in developing countries
may differ substantially. For developing countries, it is
furthermore very important to have access to initial
funds to kick-start the process of implementation.
Systems of cost recovery, crucial tools in integrated
river basin management, can only be successfully
implemented when acceptable service levels are
established and effective administrative arrangements
are in place. Investments have to be done and not all
countries can afford that.
Most importantly, a major requirement for
implementation is the presence of sufficient human
and institutional capacity at the right time and at the

Page 48

right place. The development of human capacity is a

long-term effort, complex in nature and resource
demanding. It is not enough to train experts in the
relevant technical disciplines only. There is also a
need to train and foster experts in integration.
The development of institutional capacity is even
more complex. At a certain moment in time, a
sufficient (threshold) level of relevant technical,
organisational, administrative, social and financial
capacity has to be available to kick-start and sustain
the process of integrated river basin management (cf.
Abrams, 1996). The aggregated sectors should be
able to perform adequately, at present and in the
future. In this field there is still a long way to go. To
provide policies, strategies, legal and institutional
arrangements, financial and economic instruments
and relevant human and institutional capacities at the
right time and at the right place and synchronised at
(inter) national, regional and river basin level, is a task
that can only be covered by the aggregated
international community.

Abrams L. 1996. Capacity Building for Water Supply and Sanitation Development at the Local Level:
The Threshold Concept, in Proceedings of the Second UN Symposium on Water Sector Capacity
Building in Delft 1996, Water Sector Capacity Building: Concepts and Instruments (eds. Alaerts G.J,
Hartvelt, F.J.A., Patorni F.M.), p. 301-311, Balkema, Rotterdam.
Burton, J. 2001. Integrated River Basin Management; a reminder of some basic concepts in:
Proceedings of the International Workshop on River Basin Management, Delft, 2001, UNESCO-IHP,
Hooper B. P. 2006. Key Performance Indicators of River Basin Organizations, Department of
Geography and Environmental Resources Southern Illinois University. Carbondale. Draft submitted
for publication as a Technical Note, Institute of Water Resources, US Army Corps of Engineers,
Virginia. February 20, 2006
Millington, P., D. Olson, S. McMillan. 2005. Integrated river basin management from concepts to
good practice, briefing notes. World Bank. Washington DC.
Mostert, E. 1998. The Allocation of Tasks and Competencies in Dutch Water Management:
Discussions, Developments and Present State, RBA Series on River Basin Administration, Research
Report No 7, RBA Centre, Delft
Ostrom, E. 1990. Governing the Commons; the Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action,
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Page 49

Page 50

UNIT IX: Policy instruments

environmental economics
Economical instruments focus
primarily on physical regulations
and have the objective to adjust the
economic market


Mainstream environmental economics is based on the

concept of internalizing externalities within the neoclassical economic framework. The instruments
developed have the objective to adjust the economic
market according to the Pigovian tradition through,
e.g., charges or taxes on activities that pollute the
environment or deplete natural resources (examples of
some economic regulation tools are shown in Table
IX.1. According to Dietz and van der Straaten (1992)
such economic instruments are largely neglected in
environmental policies, which focus primarily on
physical regulations (like standards and requirements)
to reduce environmental degradation.

Table IX.1: Examples of economic tools developed to

adjust the failure of the market to internalize

Companies receive a certain quantitative right to pollute. Such pollutions

rights can then be bought and sold on artificial markets. A company that is
very efficient at achieving production procedures below the pollution quota
can trade the exceeding pollution right to companies with inefficient
pollution abatement.

Figure IX.1 shows the basic relationship between

environmental issues in the landscape, and the factors
that influence the chosen mode of environmental
management. The starting point is the landscape or the
ecosystem, and the knowledge of the dynamics and
functioning of the system(s). Internalization of
externalities by estimating the costs and benefits of
avoiding a certain environmental damage, and
converting that into a cost (in case of negative
externality) or benefit (in case of positive externality) is
a prerequisite for economic instruments.

Page 51

Figure IX.1: Basic relationship between economic tools

and policies in managing environmental issues in the
landscape (Dietz and van der Straaten, 1992)

The entry point of environmental

policy making is the understanding
of the biophysical cycles

Environmental policies on the other hand are rarely

derived from the preferences (in monetary terms) of
individuals according to the requirements of economic
theory (Dietz and van der Straaten, 1992). Instead
environmental policies are developed directly based on
information about the physical environmental problem.
These physical policy goals are formulated in terms of
rates of emission reductions, standards for emissions
and discharges, requirements regarding production
and processes.
However, the actual strength of the management
instrument -be it derived from economic cost/benefit
analysis or from a policy making process - will be
influenced strongly by driving forces in society. The
fundamental social driver is the perceptions of a
community generally executed in form of social
pressure via various forms of institutional interest
groups. On top of this social "grassroot" pressure is
added the often very strong vested economic interests
from, e.g., large private companies. Such vested
interests often affect environmental policy making very
significantly, and are a result of the power imbalances
found in a society.
Finally, the instrument (standard, incentive, charge, tax
etc.) that lands in the reality of the manager involved in
environmental management at the landscape level, is a
compromise between what nature really needs (based
on information derived from the ecological system) and
what society is prepared to offer nature (based on the
social pressures and the vested economic interests
from large powerful institutions).
The entry point for environmental policy making is the

Page 52

understanding of the biophysical cycles in nature and

landscape. These biocycles of energy, nutrients,
organics, air and water should be carefully surveyed
and monitored in order to enable useful environmental

management and economic instruments

A change on behaviour of the target

group can be achieved by the
implementation of policy

A central part of a policy making approach is the

initiation of a process of behavior change of the target
group of a policy. The actions or instruments available
to policy makers to achieve behavior changes can be
described as follows (INECE, 1992):
1. Voluntary Approaches
Voluntary approaches encourage or assist, but do not
require change. Voluntary approaches include public
education, technical assistance, and the promotion of
nongovernmental organizations. Voluntary approaches
may also include some management of natural
resources (e.g., lakes, natural areas, ground water) to
maintain environmental quality.
2. Command-and-control
In command-and-control approaches, the government
prescribes the desired changes through detailed
requirements and then promotes and enforces
compliance with these requirements.
3. Market-based/Economic incentive approaches
Market-based/economic incentive approaches use
market forces to achieve desired behaviour changes.
These approaches can be independent of or build
approaches. For example, introducing market forces
into a command-and-control approach can encourage
greater pollution prevention and more economic
solutions to problems. Market-based/economic
incentive approaches include:
Fee systems, which tax emissions, effluents,
and other environmental releases.
Tradeable permits, which allow companies to
trade, permitted emission rights with other
companies (e.g. carbon trades).
Offset approaches. These approaches allow a
facility to propose various approaches to
meeting an environmental goal. For example,
a facility may be allowed to emit greater
quantities of a substance from one of its
operations if the facility offsets this increase
by reducing emissions at another of its

Page 53

Auctions. In this approach, the government

auctions limited rights to produce or release
certain environmental pollutants.
Environmental labelling/public disclosure. In
this approach, manufacturers are required to
label products so that consumers can be
aware of the environmental impacts of the
products. Consumers can then choose which
products to purchase based on the products'
environmental performance.
4. Risk-based approaches
Risk-based approaches establish priorities for change
based on the potential for reducing the risks posed to
public health and/or the environment. They provide
dynamic systems or mechanisms for identifying highrisk areas, quantifying them, comparing them, selecting
focus areas and then managing them on a continuing
basis (Sparrow, 2000).
5. Pollution prevention
The goal of pollution prevention approaches is to
prevent pollution by reducing or eliminating generation
of pollution at the source. The changes needed to
prevent pollution can be required, e.g., as part of a
command-and-control approach, or encouraged as
voluntary actions.
6. Liability
Some environmental management approaches are
based on laws that make individuals or businesses
liable for the results of certain actions or for damages
they cause to another individual or business or to their
property. Examples of liability-based environmental
management systems include nuisance laws, laws
requiring compensation for victims of environmental
environmental problems caused by improper disposal
of hazardous waste. Liability systems reduce or
prevent pollution only to the extent that individuals or
facilities fear the consequences of potential legal
action against them.
management will benefit if the underlying requirements
are enforceable that is, clear and practical.

Page 54


Ambient Standards
Ambient standards (also called media quality standards) are goals for the quality of the ambient
environment (e.g., air, water). Ambient standards are usually written in units of concentration (e.g., the
level of nitrogen dioxide in the air cannot exceed 0.053 parts per million). In the U.S., ambient standards are
used as environmental quality goals and to plan the level of emissions from individual sources that can be
accommodated while still meeting the area wide goal. Ambient standards may also be as triggers, e.g.,
when the standard is exceeded, monitoring or enforcement efforts are increased. Enforcement of ambient
standards usually requires relating an ambient measurement to emissions or activities at a specific facility.
This can be difficult.
Performance Standards (Emissions and Effluents)
These standards are widely used for regulations, permits, and monitoring requirements. Performance
standards limit the amount or rate of particular chemicals or discharges that a facility can release into the
environment in a given period of time. Performance standards provide flexibility because they allow
sources to choose which technologies they will use to meet the standards. Often such standards are based
on the output that can be achieved using the best available control technology. Some requirements
introduce additional flexibility by allowing a source with multiple emissions to vary its emissions from
each stack as long as the total sum of the emissions does not exceed the permitted total. Compliance with
emission standards is measured by sampling and monitoring. Depending on the kind of instruments
required, compliance can be difficult and/or expensive to monitor.
Technology Standards
These standards require the regulated community to use a particular type of technology (e.g., the "best
available technology") to control and/or monitor emissions. Technology standards are particularly
appropriate when the equipment is known to perform well under the range of conditions generally
experienced by sources in the community. It is relatively
easy for inspectors to determine whether sources are in compliance with technology standards: the
approved equipment must be in place and operating properly. It may be difficult, however, to ensure that
the equipment is operating properly over a long period of time. Technology standards can inhibit
technological innovation and pollution prevention.
Practice Standards
These standards require or prohibit certain work activities that have significant environmental impacts. For
example, a standard might prohibit carrying hazardous liquids in uncovered buckets. Like technology
standards, it is easy for program officials to inspect for compliance and take action against non-complying
sources, but difficult to ensure ongoing compliance.
Information Requirements
These requirements are different from the standards described above in that they require a source of
potential pollution (e.g., a pesticide manufacturer or facilities involved in generating, transporting, storing,
treating, and disposing of hazardous waste) to develop and submit information to the government. Sources
generating pollution may be required to monitor, report on, and maintain records of the level of pollution
generated and whether or not it exceeds performance standards. Information requirements are often used
when the potential pollution source is a product such as a new chemical or pesticide, rather than a waste.
For example, a manufacturer may be required to test and report on a product's potential to cause harm if
released into the environment.
Product or Use Bans
A ban may prohibit a product outright (e.g., ban the manufacture, sale, and/or use of a product) or may
prohibit particular uses of a product.

Page 55

Legal framework for implementing environmental policy (INECE, 1992):

Laws provide the vision, scope, and authority for environmental protection and restoration. In some
countries, laws also encompass the types of general requirements described by other countries in
regulations (see below).
Regulations establish (in greater detail than can be specified by law) general requirements that must be
met by the regulated community, e.g., how harmful substances should be tested, registered, handled,
monitored, emitted, discharged, and/or disposed of. These requirements generally apply at a national,
state, or regional level (depending on the scope specified in the law). Some regulations are directly
enforced. Others provide the criteria and procedures for developing facility-specific requirements via
permits and licenses that provide the basis for enforcement. Some countries do not include the step of
developing regulations but rely solely on facility-specific permits or licenses to implement their laws.
Permits usually control activities related to construction or operation of facilities that generate pollutants.
The requirements in permits are often based on specific criteria established in laws, regulations, and/or
General permits specify exactly what a class of facilities (e.g., gasoline stations) is required to do.
General permits and licenses are used when it is impractical and/or unnecessary to issue a specific
permit for each facility (e.g., when there are numerous small facilities that have very similar
Facility-specific permits specify exactly what a particular facility is required to do. Permits often take
into account the particular conditions at the specific facility.
Licenses are similar to permits. Licenses are permits to manufacture, test, sell, and/or distribute a product,
such as a pesticide, that may pose an environmental or public health risk if improperly used. Licenses may
be general or facility-specific.
Guidance and Policies. Often government regulators must interpret requirements, even those that have
been carefully drafted, because not all applications can be anticipated. Written guidance and policies for
interpreting and implementing requirements help ensure consistency and fairness as the requirements are
applied in practice. Guidance and policies are also useful in situations where regulation is achieved solely
by facility-specific permits or licenses (either because the regulatory system does not include more general
requirements or because it is impractical to issue general requirements, e.g., due to wide variability in the
regulated community). In this case, guidance and policies for creating requirements will help ensure
consistency and fairness.

Dietz, F., J. Van der Straaten. 1992. Rethinking environmental economics: Missing links between
economic theory and environmental policy. Journal of Economic Issues 26 (1), 27-43.
INECE International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement. 1992.
Sparrow, M. 2000. The regulatory craft. Controlling risks, solving problems, and managing
compliance. Brookings Institution Press. Washington DC. 346 pp.

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UNIT X: Transboundary Water Management



Water flows create a fundamental asymmetry

While water flows downstream,

claims to water flow in the
opposite direction!

Water naturally flows only in one direction

downhill thereby creating a fundamental
asymmetry between different users within one
watershed or catchment.
Claims-to-water flow opposite of water itself
As water flows downhill to the user, the water user
looks expectantly in the upstream direction. So
whereas water flows downhill, claims for water,
and water entitlements flow in the upstream
direction, towards the source of water.
Whereas hydrology is mainly concerned with
understanding the process of water generation,
water resources management is concerned with
balancing water use and water demand with water
availability. Water resources models therefore
always model flows in two directions: water flows
in the one direction and water demands in the
opposite direction.

Dealing with asymmetries

Downstream users of blue water rely on soil and
water managers upstream, who influence the
manner in which rainfall is converted into blue and
green water (e.g. through crop husbandry, soil
management etc.) and use all the green water for
biomass production and part of the blue water for
other purposes. In doing so, they, largely
unilaterally, determine the availability of blue water
to downstream users.

Figure X.1: Asymmetries in a River


In many situations, the physical link that connects

the downstream user with the upstream user
(through gravity flow) is not reciprocated by an
institutional link. For example, if it is true that
through diligent soil husbandry more rainfall water
infiltrates to the saturated zone, becomes
groundwater and will appear as (valuable) baseflow in the river downstream, why cannot those
who helped to generate this water be considered

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Upstream users significantly

influence water availability
downstream. A reciprocal
institutional link, to balance the
physical link caused by gravity,
can create incentives for
maximization of collective gains

The reasonable and equitable

allocation of water, without
causing significant harm will
always imply that upstream
countries will have to forego some
of the potential water benefits.

the owner of it; and those who want to use it lease

it from them? If this is done, an institutional link
reciprocates the physical water link, and upstream
users receive an incentive to good soil
conservation and husbandry. The most difficult
part is to attribute certain soil management
activities to specific quantities of blue water
The sharing of international waters between
riparian countries is, in principle, not different from
the above situation; especially if such waters are
shared between upstream and downstream
countries. Water use in the downstream country
does not affect water availability in the upstream
country, but consumptive water use upstream
does impact water availability in the downstream
Countries will tend to achieve the highest
individual benefits in negotiating shared water
resources. International rules have put limits to the
manner in which countries may utilize the
international water resources occurring within their
territories. Because of the asymmetrical situation
in river basins, the reasonable and equitable
allocation of water without causing significant
harm, as prescribed by the 1997 UN Convention
on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of
International Watercourses, will always imply that
upstream countries will have to forego some of the
potential water benefits.
A key question is whether upstream countries are
willing to indeed accept this. If the negotiations
would focus on formulating the strategy for the
entire basin that achieves the highest total
benefits, then countries that agree to forego
certain developments for the benefit of other
countries can be compensated by them.

Article 6 of the UN Convention: Factors relevant to equitable and reasonable utilization (UN, 1997)
1. Utilization of an international watercourse in an equitable and reasonable manner within the
meaning of article 5 requires taking into account all relevant factors and circumstances, including:
(a) Geographic, hydrographic, hydrological, climatic, ecological and other factors of a natural
(b) The social and economic needs of the watercourse States concerned;
(c) The population dependent on the watercourse in each watercourse State;
(d) The effects of the use or uses of the watercourses in one watercourse State on other
watercourse States;
(e) Existing and potential uses of the watercourse;
(f) Conservation, protection, development and economy of use of the water resources of the

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watercourse and the costs of measures taken to that effect;

The availability of alternatives, of comparable value, to a particular planned or existing use.

2. In the application of article 5 or paragraph 1 of this article, watercourse States concerned shall,
when the need arises, enter into consultations in a spirit of cooperation. The weight to be given to
each factor is to be determined by its importance in comparison with that of other relevant factors.
In determining what is a reasonable and equitable use, all relevant factors are to be considered
together and a conclusion reached on the basis of the whole.

Managing international waters

River basins do not respect
administrative boundaries
Complexity of river systems makes
it difficult to recognize upstreamdownstream interactions
Groundwater and soil moisture
are important but often ignored
components of the water cycle
Resolving the Sovereignty
Dilemma is critical to the success
of transboundary cooperation

River basins do not respect village, district,

provincial, and national boundaries. Too often, we
have attempted to fit the water into these
administrative and institutional boundaries, rather
than to design institutions that fit the (physical and
spatial characteristics of the) resource. As a
administrative/institutional void when dealing with
the management of water resources. This is
especially true at the trans-national level.
Perhaps the biggest problem in sharing an
international water resources system is its sheer
scale and the complexity of system interactions
over large distances (upstream and downstream).
For instance, it is difficult to see, let alone quantify,
the consequences of upstream land use changes
on downstream flood levels. This complexity may
result in unforeseen negative consequences of
human interventions, which are difficult to correct
and may give rise to tensions between riparian
populations and countries sharing the basin.
Further, management of water resources has
generally concentrated on surface water, while
insufficient attention has been given to
groundwater and green water (soil moisture).
Sometimes, within the same international river
basin, national priorities might differ; thus nations
may develop diverging and incompatible policies
and plans. This is called the sovereignty dilemma
and one of the biggest challenges in sharing
international rivers is to identify development
strategies whereby all riparian communities enjoy
an equitable allocation of costs and benefits.

Some emerging principles

The following general principles have emerged for
the management of international water resources:
Sovereignty Principle: Each nation has the right

Page 59

to develop its own policies, laws and institutions

and its own strategies for natural resources
development and utilization
Equity Principle: All people have basic rights of
access to resources for their survival and
development; no groups in society should be
put at a disadvantage in this respect
Intergenerational Equity Principle: Future
generations should not be deprived from
access to an adequate resource base
Precautionary Principle: Governments are
obliged to protect citizens against risks and
from disasters, even if such risks have not yet
been established by scientific proof
Transboundary Principle: Upstream water
downstream water users, and vice-versa; this
principle is in a sense the extension of the
equity and precautionary principles across
national borders
Water-as-an-economic-good Principle: Users
should pay the economic value of the water
used, provided that the price of water is
affordable and that this principle does not
conflict with the equity principle
Polluter-pays Principle: Any who inflicts
damage on the natural resources system
should pay for the damage

Benefit sharing in international

Benefits of trans-boundary
cooperation can be ecological,
economic, political and catalytic

A river can be seen as the ecological river, the

economic river, the political river and the catalytic
river (Sadoff and Grey, 2002). In accordance with
these four perspectives, a river can generate four
types of benefits, provided its riparians cooperate:
Benefits to the river (Ecosystem): Cooperation
between riparian countries allows better
management of ecosystems, which will provide
benefits to the river, underpinning all other
benefits that can be derived.
Benefits from the river (Economic): Efficient,
cooperative management and development of
transboundary rivers can yield real and direct
benefits, for example increased food production
and energy generation.
Reduction of costs because of the river
(Political): There will always exist some
tensions between riparian countries and those
tensions will generate costs. Cooperation on
transboundary river basin management will
reduce those tensions and costs.

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Cooperation on rivers may strengthen the

cooperation and trade between riparian states
and even economic integration, which may
catalyze benefits beyond just the river / water

shared basins


Savenije and Van der Zaag (2000) identify three

critical elements of any management strategy for
international river basins:

river basin

within the basin

sub catchments
within the catchment

water user boards

within the sub-catchment

Figure VII.2: Public Participation

1. Integrated
The dwindling water yields from our river basins,
coupled with a continued increase in the demand
for water, call for urgent, systematic, sustained
and concerted actions at the basin scale. These
actions should focus on reducing the water losses
at the basin level; improving the efficiency of
rainfall use; and developing a mix of institutional,
educational, economic and legal measures to
reduce water demand.
2. Public Participation
An institutional strategy should contain appropriate
institutional arrangements for sharing international
water both at the national level and at the river
basin level. Integrated management of water
resources requires strengthening capacities at the
highest and lowest levels within a basin. This
insight calls for commitment at the highest political
levels, as well as for the active participation of
stakeholders and the general public in the process
of international river basin management. The
participation of stakeholders will assist in
elaborating solutions that are sustainable and
equitable, and may help to make national laws
compatible with traditional norms and customs
found at the local level.
In this respect, two major challenges exist: [a]
improve and strengthen two-way communication
between state and user levels within country, by
means of effective river basin organizations; and
[b] harmonise platforms of representation of user
interests across borders, and foster linkages
between river basin organizations across national
borders. Strengthening these vertical and
horizontal linkages will deepen, and give a more
practical meaning to, the existing bilateral and
multilateral agreements between States.
3. Exploiting Interdependencies
Interdependencies can then be made visible and
quantified, both in technical and socio-economic

Page 61

terms. The dissemination of this knowledge and

the creation of awareness among water users,
politicians and the public at large, should lead to
the realisation that it is in everybody's interest to
share the resources in a sustainable manner.

Sadoff, C.W., Grey, D., 2002. Beyond the river: the benefits of cooperation on international rivers.
Water Policy 4: 389-403.
Van der Zaag, P., Jaspers, F. and Gupta, J. 2007. Legislation of international waters. Selected
chapters from Lecture Notes. UNESCO-IHE, Delft.
PWCMT. nd. List of Publications on website of the Program in Water Conflict Management and
Savenije, H.H.G. and Van der Zaag, P. 2000. Conceptual framework for the management of shared
river basins, with special reference to the SADC and EU. Water Policy, 2 (1-2), pp.9-45.
UN, 1997, Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses.
Adopted by the United Nationals General Assembly in resolution 51/229 of 21 May 1997. New York,
United Nations
Van der Zaag, P. and Savenije, H.H.G. 2000. Towards improved management of shared river basins:
lessons from the Maseru conference. Water Policy, 2 (1-2), pp.47-63.
Van der Zaag, P., Seyam, I.M. and Savenije, H.H.G. 2002. Towards measurable criteria for the
equitable sharing of international water resources. Water Policy, 4 (1), pp.19-32.

Page 62

UNIT XI: Project Management

Project Management in IWRM

Projects are means of

organizing unique and
complex activities that
cannot be addressed within
an organizations normal
operational limits

Many specific tasks faced by institutions engaging with

IWRM are new and unique, complex and hard to address
within the normal operational limits of the organization.
Setting up multi-stakeholder negotiation platforms,
conducting multi-scale analyses, drafting policies, or
implementing institutional changes the very nature of
these tasks suggests to tackle them in the form of projects
and with the support of project management tools and
Turning an idea or plan into a successful project requires
carefully defined goals, non-goals, and a clear
understanding of the projects boundaries and temporal,
thematic, and social context. Projects have their own history
and lead to consequences in the future. They interact with
other activities and projects of the engaged institutions and
their result may even affect wider policies and strategies.
And they rely on and affect stakeholder groups, both inside
and outside of the institutions involved. Similar to the policy
making process, the quality of the project planning and
context analysis heavily influences the quality and potential
of its outcomes.

Figure XI.1: Project Boundaries (source: PMI)

Projects as a Social
temporary Organizations



For project involving multiple stakeholders and partners, the

project organization, the project team and the roles of its
members as well present the most crucial decision in
project design.

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Projects are part of

organizations larger than the

Figure XI.2: The Relationship between Stakeholders and the

Project (Source: PMI)

Project teams form social

systems with a distinct role,
identity and shared
understanding of its

We speak of teams when tasks, competencies or

responsibilities of any kind are transferred collectively to a
group of people. Since project teams are assembled for
activities outside of the normal operational organization of
its sponsor institutions, they typically involve staff selected
strictly for technical competence from several functional
units, departments or agencies. The integration of the team
into the existing hierarchical structures poses one of the
biggest challenges in project organization. The authority of
the project manager can range from pure coordination of
staff loaned to the project by their supervisors to full line
authority over the staff for the duration of the project.
Projects in IWRM often bridge across several institutions.
Delegating real authority to a project manager will therefore
present a particularly difficult challenge. An independent
project team with a coherent approach to their teamwork
and a shared understanding typically improves the
outcomes of a project, but this potential heavily relies on the
support of their home institutions and the interactions and
influence of their hierarchies.

The Project Management Toolbox

Project Management
supports the planning,
organizing, and managing of
resources to bring about the
successful completion of
specific project goals and

Project Management in itself means the application of

knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities
to meet project requirements. In a way, every ad hoc
structure for a complex activity can be understood as
project management. Since the 1950s, project management
also emerged as a discipline, with a large body of tested
techniques available. However, project management is a
toolbox, and will not in itself guarantee a good project result.
Applying tested techniques to all stages of a project can
help to build-in quality, ensure that typical questions and
problems are easily identified, and provide templates for
typical activities. But the project management team

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determines, which tools are appropriate for any given

Project Management addresses two challenges in projects:
The primary challenge is to achieve the goals and
objectives of the project within the given constraints of time,
budget, and scope. The second challenge is to actually
optimize the allocation and integration of the given
resources. How much project management is needed
depends on the scope and priority of these challenges.
Project management standards shortly introduced here
support wide range of management tasks, including

Project Integration with the project context and

Project Scope management ensuring that the project
is able to effectively deliver on its goals
Time Management techniques to accomplish
completion of the project including monitoring of
critical bottlenecks and dependencies
Project Cost Management supporting estimation,
budgeting and expense controlling
Project Human Resources addressing the critical
function of roles and responsibilities in a project
Project Communication coordinating the flow of essential
information in particular in multi-party projects

Project Management Institute (2006): A Guide to the Project Management Body of nowledge
(PMBOK Guide), 3rd edition, PMI. (International Standard, basis of the Project Management
International Project Management Association (2006): ICB IPMA Competence Baseline,
version 3.0, IPMA. (International Standard, basis of the IPMA certification)
Wirick, David (2009): Public-Sector Project Management: Meeting the Challenges and
Achieving Results, Wiley.

Page 65

Page 66

UNIT XI:I Team Role Management

Team role principles and history

Team Role can be defined as "A tendency to
behave, contribute and interrelate with others in a
particular way." (Belbin, 2009).A group or
researchers, under the head of Dr. Meredith Belbin,
conducted an investigation of over nine years on the
behaviour of managers from all over the world.
Those participating in the study completed a battery
of psychometric tests. They were then placed in
teams of varying composition to take part in a
complex management exercise. Participants' core
personality traits, intellectual styles and behaviours
were assessed during the simulation.

According to Belbin (2009) Team

Roles is "a tendency to behave,
contribute and interrelate with
others in a particular way

As the research progressed, different clusters of

behaviour were identified, called "Team Roles". It
was discovered that the Team Role composition of a
team could spell its success or failure.

Research results
Nine clusters of behaviour were identifying termed
Team Roles. Each Team Role has its particular
strengths and allowable weaknesses (negative side
of the positive strength), and each has an important
contribution to make to a team.
Very few people display characteristics of just one
Team Role. Most people have 3 or 4 preferred roles,
which can be adopted or eschewed as the situation
Some of the benefits of Team Roles are that they
improve self-knowledge and understanding among
individuals and teams. Also depict a current
behavioural pattern - a snapshot of your behaviour at
one time. Preferences aren't fixed, since many
factors can influence behaviour, whether a new job,
promotion or circumstances outside work.
Most psychometric tests rely on self-reporting.
However, the behaviours identified may not
correspond with what others observe. In order to
identify the clusters the degree of consensus on
observed behaviour was taken into account. Also
disparities between self-analysis and the perceptions
of others can provide valuable leads for action.

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The self and observer assessments feature several

different behavioural traits for each Team Role. To
be a good example of a particular Team Role, an
individual would have to demonstrate the cluster of
positive traits for that role.



The 9 Belbin team roles

The nine clusters of behaviour identified are (Figure







Figure XII.1: The nine Belbin Team


Completer Finisher
Monitor Evaluator
Resource Investigator

Team roles in an individual develop and mature, and

may change with experience and conscious
attention. Different team roles can come to the fore
in response to the needs of particular situations.
In general, a persons overall strongest roles are the
ones most appreciated by other people. In this
sense, one should try to develop them and play
these roles with enthusiasm. At the same time, one
should take note of the lowest roles and find a
strategy to avoid exposure by trying to play them
(e.g. try to work with people who are strong in the
roles one is weak).

Belbin, M. 2009. Belbin Team Role Theory.

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Prof. Jan Leentvaar PhD, MSc is currently Senior Advisor at UN-Water Decade
Programme on Capacity Development in Bonn. He is also Professor of
Environmental Policy Making at UNESCO-IHE in Delft and the Agricultural University
Wageningen, Netherlands. He has served the Netherlands Ministry of Water
Management since 1988 in his last position as Director Chief Inspector of the Water
Management Inspectorate and Advisor of the Minister.

Martin Bijlsma, MBA, MSc, is a self-employed consultant in the field of water and
environment. He has conducted projects related to public participation in the
European Framework Directive Water in the Netherlands for the Netherlands Ministry
of Water Management and other governmental bodies. Before becoming selfemployed in 2004, he worked as university lecturer for UNESCO-IHE in Delft, where
he is still a regular guest lecturer.

Ine Frijters, MSc in International Relations, is currently policy advisor at the Water
Management Inspectorate in the Netherlands. She is in charge of the international
affairs of the Inspectorate. She has served the Netherlands Ministry of Water
Management since 1998.

Ms. Ellen Pfeiffer, MBA, is currently Head of Administration and Network

Development at the IHDP Secretariat (UNU-IHDP). During her previous engagement
with the Center for Development Research Bonn she served on the German Ministry
for Development Cooperation's consultative group for ICT in Development and
gathered more than ten years of practical project management experience with
various NGOs and organizations, both nationally and internationally.

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