Volta 4:Integrated management of rainwater and small reservoirs for multiple uses – Sub-basin management and governance

Published on 13 November 2010

Research Areas




Start Date: 1 October 2010 | End Date: 31 December 2013


This project aims at understanding the processes that govern IWRM policy-making, practices and research in the Volta Basin (Ghana and Burkina Faso). This will be done to identify demand-driven opportunities for the management and the governance of rainwater and small reservoirs at the watershed (sub-basin) level. The project will make use of tools and results of previous CPWF projects so as to devise and assess the prospects offered by a participatory modeling framework, designed and discussed in multi-stakeholder platforms (MSP), to steer IWRM practices in two pilot watersheds. The participatory modeling framework will integrate expert biophysical modeling with locally-defined understanding of the socio-environmental system. This will provide the basis for identifying desirable rainwater and small reservoirs governance options at the watershed level. Participatory action-research will foster discussion of IWRM principles and policies and enhance better knowledge on the ways policy and development interventions are shaped by local actors. This will provide the basis to fin-tune IWRM policy processes to local needs and demands. Participatory approaches will be combined with a critical assessment of the theory and practice of natural resources policy making and research activities. We will draw from the fields of Political Ecology and Science and Technology Studies to better understand local dynamics and appropriation pathways of innovations such as IWRM policy interventions. By going beyond the simplistic –yet commonly admitted- divide between formal decision making and informal practices, this research project will lead to enhance impacts of on-going IWRM policy initiatives in the Volta basin.

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