News.Feb 15, 2019

What Works in Water and Ocean Governance: Impact Stories from the UNDP Water and Ocean Governance Programme

“Why does governance work take such a long time?” This question, from one of our financial partners, incited this report, written for the partnership UNDP-SIWI Water Governance. In the report you learn about the process leading to successful governance reform with examples from around the world.

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Antoine Delepiere
Senior Programme Manager,
Water and Sanitation

Governance reform is about finding new ways of operation and interaction. It is no linear process but rather a whole-of-society transition that negotiates between varied interests and challenges to change entrenched practices.

Embarking on the present review, and in the interest of harvesting practical lessons from UNDP’s Water & Ocean Governance (WOGP) portfolio, the exploration was focused on “What works in water/ocean governance?” The report aims to unveil the most critical steps or factors that made these generally successful water and/or ocean governance projects reach their objectives.

The report therefore puts a selected set of projects of the WOGP under the spotlight. Whereas the achievements are often of a very different nature, they all tackle complex, cross-sectoral water or ocean issues that none of the actors involved could have managed on their own. This illustrates the important difference between management – addressing matters that are principally tackled by one actor, often within the purview of one organization – and governance, which relates to the broader relations and rules that regulate the way a whole sector or society acts jointly.

© Antoine Delepiere