IWRM Policy Evaluation: Preliminary Findings


Integrated Water Resources

Management (IWRM) Policy Evaluation:

Key Findings, Lessons and Way Forward

High Level Evaluations Division, OPEV

4 December 2012, Tunis

IWRM Policy Evaluation


• The IWRM Evaluation has five key components :

– IWRM Literature Review

– Water Related Portfolio Review

– QAE Review of Project Appraisal Reports and Country Strategy Papers

– Country Case Studies

– Review of the IWRM Policy 2000

• The evaluation was based on desk reviews, interviews with stakeholders in the Bank, and visits to four case study countries .

• The evaluation covered the period 2000-2010.

The Bank’s IWRM Policy 2000

The policy paper defines:

IWRM a comprehensive approach to water resources management

(WRM) that views water is a single resource with competing uses and inter-linkages with ecological, social and economic systems

Basic principles: Water should be treated as an economic, social, and environmental good, and policies guiding water resources management should be analyzed within an integrated framework.

Central objective: To promote efficient, equitable, and sustainable development through IWRM.

To these ends the Bank’s strategies and policy statements are spelled out under five dimensions: institutional, technical, economic,

social, and environmental, and 40 actions are envisioned in the policy paper.

The Bank’s key actions for implementing the IWRM policy

2000-2002: Contributed to the preparation of the Africa Water Vision 2025

(AWV) in 2000. Established the Water Partnership Program (2000-2006).

Contributed to the establishment of the Conference of African Water Ministers in


2003-2004: Included in the Bank’s multiyear strategic plan (2003–2007).

Developed the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative (RWSSI) in 2003.

Replenished the African Development Fund in 2004, with funds earmarked for the

RWSSI. Established the African Water Facility (AWF) in 2004.

2006-2008: AWF bought into operation in 2006. Developed the water and sanitation component of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).

Created the Water Supply and Sanitation Department in 2006. Included IWRM mainstreaming in the Bank’s Medium Term Strategy (2008–2012).

2009- 2010: Approved a business plan for agricultural water development and water storage enhancement in 2010.

IWRM literature says IWRM is still a dominant paradigm

• IWRM remains the dominant paradigm in approaches to water resources management.

• RMCs are increasingly pursuing IWRM (UN Report, AWF Report).

• Much of the writing from academia on IWRM implementation is critical.

• In general, evaluations agree that IWRM is a worthy objective and the ‘state of the art’ in water management.

• The difficulties in IWRM implementation are seen as the result of a series of factors inherent in the developing countries: conservative bureaucratic structures; lack of consistent political will and commitment; limited human and financial resources; and interagency coordination


The Bank’s water portfolio substantially grew and also diversified

• Both the volume of the Bank’s water-related operations and the size of individual operations increased substantially over the evaluation period compared with the previous decades :

– In 2000-2010, the portfolio comprised 166 project loans and grants, and 49 TA projects, amounting to UA 3,116.27 million.

– In addition, under the AWF the Bank approved another 66 projects amounting to a total of UA 67.5 million: 60% of its portfolio is concentrated in Water and Environment area

(including support to IWRM), 30% in WSS, and the rest in water and land related area.

– RWSSI Trust Fund leveraged investments in RWSS..

• Multinational projects received about 4% of the water portfolio, with strong elements of IWRM.

• The Bank has diversified its water portfolio, but most investment projects are still concentrated in water supply and sanitation, though projects in

water and the environment are gaining their shares.

The Bank also supported policy and institutional capacity development...

• The Bank’s TA Portfolio had also grown over time, but was still very small

(in UA value terms), i.e., UA 58.4 million.

• About 40% of the AWF portfolio (Euro 30 million) was dedicated to IWRM related capacity development in RMCs (for drafting legislation, conducting related studies, seminars).

• A program loan for Morocco: water sector reform, including IWRM implementation.

• As part of investment projects (up to 10% of the project loan or grant).

• WPP and RWSSI also contributed.

But these are relatively small amounts for a portfolio of more than UA3 billion over the ten year period.

Operations Evaluation Department-OPEV

The IWRM quality at entry of projects was


satisfactory in many areas, but...

• However, there was very little focus on IWRM in the terms of developing a comprehensive, and cross-sectoral strategic approach for water resources allocation and conservation.

• Project level economic analysis was often inadequate – e.g.., opportunity cost of water was not taken into account, little attention was given to WRM at catchment areas and related cost of ‘not doing WRM for water supply entities and the nation’ was not explored.

• CSPs were not always informed by country water sector assessments and assistance strategies.

Project Performance:

Only about half of the completed projects have satisfactory ratings..

• Of the 16 projects with unsatisfactory ratings (i.e. ,requiring substantial improvement): 5 were in irrigation subsector, 3 each in urban and rural WSS, another 3 in fisheries, and 1 in each in hydropower, WRM, rivers and lakes subsectors.

• The top three reasons for unsuccessful ratings were shortfall in achieving outputs and outcomes (75% cases), lack of timeliness (69%), and unlikely sustainability (44%).

Key lessons from completed projects..

• More attention is needed to improve project performance ratings at implementation completion.

• Problems of capacity constraints and adequate financing undermine project sustainability and need to be resolved before project implementation ends.

• Adherence to IWRM principles can improve overall project performance and sustainability, as implied by the PCR ratings.

• Cross-sector coordination at the Bank can improve synergy and project outcomes at the country level (e.g, between water and electricity).

• SWAp is a useful modality for rural water supply and sanitation and for policy and institutional reform and capacity building for IWRM implementation.

• PPPs are useful in WSS projects, particularly where local conditions are taken into consideration and cost recovery is possible.

Lessons drawn from the Country Case Studies..

• RMCs are more aware and active in IWRM implementation with external support.

• Country water assessment and assistance strategy formulation are useful

• Putting in place IWRM legislations, institutional framework, and implementation plans is necessary. Water data base and monitoring is very useful to inform the stakeholders.

• Decentralisation and autonomy of local water related agencies are helpful in IWRM implementation.

• Use of water sector specific gender strategy helps mainstream gender in water related operations and in addressing the issue of opportunities for education and employment for women and girls.

• Sector based programmatic approach can be a useful modality for IWRM implementation.

The Bank’s IWRM Policy is still relevant to address water issues in RMCs..

• The Bank’s IWRM policy remains fundamentally relevant to its new strategic orientation for building a green economy founded on principles of sustainable development, inclusive growth, poverty reduction, and climate resilience by addressing water issues.

• Although the policy’s objectives remain relevant, the policy paper needs to be revisited to sharpen its message to better guide implementation and it needs to be updated to adapt it to Africa’s new challenges and the Bank’s new strategic orientation.

• Water portfolio has grown with increasing share in IWRM related projects. However, more attention is needed to improve project performance.

Operations Evaluation Department-OPEV

There is a need to update and simplify the IWRM

Policy for more effective implementation

• A more concise and focused policy paper to address the Bank’s and

RMC’s priorities in water related operations and key policy principles.

• Also, the policy paper should specify to what extent the Bank should emphasize the need to support RMCs in their IWRM implementation (policies, institutions) in addition to water related operations such as drinking water, irrigation.

• It should address internal capacity constraints, resources, and knowledge sharing constraints.

Operations Evaluation Department-OPEV

The role of CSP process in implementing IWRM Policy remains very important

• The CSP process should discuss the strategy of the Bank at country level in relation to IWRM, and allocate lending and nonlending resources strategically (i.e., providing strategic rationale for the

Bank’s involvement)

• Country level water sector assessments and assistance strategies should inform the CSPs.

• Guidelines and checklists to support country teams in IWRM mainstreaming are needed.

Operations Evaluation Department-OPEV

A corporate level operational strategy and a coordination mechanism are necessary..

• A medium term operational strategy and action plan for IWRMP mainstreaming across relevant sectors in the Bank and in RMCs is necessary.

• A coordination committee or equivalent for ensuring the implementation of such action plans by bringing together all the relevant departments and reporting back to the stakeholders.

• Strategic link between IWRM and the Bank’s new strategic orientation (e.g., for building a green economy founded on principles of sustainable development, poverty reduction, regional cooperation, and climate resilience) clearly defined.

needs to be

• A system of monitoring and periodic reporting on the IWRM Policy implementation progress would enhance transparency, accountability and public awareness of the Bank’s good work in water related assistance to


Improve internal capacities, IWRM knowledge sharing and networking...

• A community of practice (Water Group) at the operational level would be useful to bring all water experts and water related departments together (horizontally) and enhanced IWRM knowledge sharing in the Bank.

• A panel of experts to provide IWRM advice and assessments for the initial stage (also by networking with strategic partners and academic institutions specialised in IWRM)

• A recognition and reward system for new ideas, knowledge and contribution to development outcomes through water related operations would incentivize the water professionals in the Bank.

Thank You