The Bank had moved from the review of the IWRM policy to action, in order to align its operations with current modalities, interpretations and applications of the IWRM paradigm. In order to do so the Bank had formulated its objectives clearly to ensure its ability to continue its operations in the future on the basis of a revised IWRM policy which was based on consultations with its stakeholders and could be effectively embedded within its organisational structures and systems.
This research was engaged with two objectives:
- It studied the concept of IWRM and its principles/practices within the AfDB and the surrounding arena. It asked: how did it develop, what effects did it produce on the ground so far, what were the limitations and enabling factors for its success.
- It explored insights, new applications and solutions through various research methods, by asking the questions such as how the Bank better operationalized the policy and made it more relevant to its actions.
The proposed framework guided the critical study of various interpretations and challenges of IWRM policy and practice at multiple political and geographical scales, from macro political settings to localize river basins and communities at micro level.
A multi-sited ethnographic and comparative methodology had been proposed to map IWRM policy challenges and opportunities for the AfDB across the international and national levels. Two key arguments formed the fundamentals to select this approach:
- The AfDB IWRM policy aimed to operate on various (international and national levels).
- IWRM in essence implied integration of the natural, technical and social arenas at different levels.
In this assignment a framework to study IWRM and its translation into practices in several African countries have been adopted.