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?” The simple answer is that governance reform is a process; it is not the mere issuing of a statement or the signature of a document. Governance reform is about instituting and practicing new ways of operation and interaction. Governance reform is not like a linear production process but rather a whole-of-society transition that negotiates among varied interests and challenges towards changing entrenched practices.

Rather than looking at why governance reforms usually take time, this report aims to unveil the most critical steps or factors that made these generally successful water and/or ocean governance projects reach their objectives. It puts a selected set of projects of the UNDP Water and Ocean Governance Programme (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.