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Preface Annex 1
STRATEGIES FOR ENHANCING OPPORTUNITIES FOR DEVELOPMENT
An improved legal and institutional context with enhanced transparency and accountability could contribute to more effective resource management, and at the same time maximize available opportunities and ensure the fair and equitable distribution of benefits. This would have positive spin- offs at multiple levels, including for human well-being and in particular health and nutrition, livelihoods and economic development.
An improved governance framework will need to address:
An increasing number of countries are developing new policies, strategies and laws for water resource development and management based on the principles of IWRM that aim at decentralization, integration and cost-recovery. The Global Water Programme (GWP), for example, seeks to encourage dialogue among financiers, water professionals, decision-makers and water users at regional and country level. For example, in Ethiopia a process has been initiated to develop an IWRM plan to be implemented in connection with the process of decentralization in the country, and to this end has developed various laws, policies and strategies (GWP 2006). Countries which are undergoing watersector reform have often restructured their institutional and legal frameworks. This may include setting up river and lake catchment and basin organizations.
The multiplicity of transboundary water basins in Africa has led to international cooperation and action plans, such as the establishment of the Africa Ministerial Council on Water (AMCOW) and the Africa Water Task Force to steer the processes. Through the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), a short-term action plan (STAP) was prepared, with the aim of strengthening the enabling environment for effective cooperative management and development of transboundary water resources, and of initiating the implementation of prioritized programmes (see Box 3). Also, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Shared Watercourses, and the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) are examples of transboundary cooperation that unlock development potentials and seek win-win benefits.
Though it is necessary to manage water resources at national and sub-regional levels, the management of water resources is best done at local level. Community- based natural resource management – especially water management – plays a critical part within holistic and integrated approaches for solving water scarcity problems. Key components of successful local water management are decentralizing decision making, accountability, and fostering ownership.
Capacity-building needs to be systematically included in IWRM plans. The capacity should be developed at all levels. Tailor-made capacity-building programmes for Africa can be developed and sustained that include institutional, human (technical and managerial), material and technological as well as financial aspects. Creative approaches (these are described more fully in Box 4) can be applied, in particular:
Opportunities can be increased through establishing partnerships between the public sector and civil society and the private sector. This may improve the implementation of community projects, particularly targeting the poor (see for example, Box 14: Private Sector Participation in the Zambian water supply and sanitation sector).
Political will and a strategic approach to address this issue of capacity strengthening and retention, are essential. At the Pan-African Conference on Implementation and Partnership on Water (PANAFCON 2003), African water ministers recognized that one of the biggest challenges that must be addressed immediately to reach the African Water Vision and the MDGs is human and institutional capacity-building (AMCOW 2003).
For establishing adequate monitoring and assessment programmes that can answer today’s questions and prepare for tomorrow, new and emerging monitoring technologies (eg the European Space Agency (ESA) and the UNESCO Earth Observation for Integrated Water Resources Management in Africa (TIGER-SHIP)) exist that can be exploited (PANAFCON 2003 recommendations). Institutions have been established (eg International Institutions for Geo- Information Science and Earth Observations (ITC)) that can underpin such advances and can provide on-the- ground monitoring, assessment and associated capacity development.