Water can catalyse or constrain growth, yet Africa’s water resources are most frequently transboundary in nature with major water resources contained within 63 basins and shared between 48 countries. Developing water resources across the African continent is a vital part of the continued growth so desperately needed for socio-political stability. Developing water resources in these contexts is complex, noting that riparian states desire shared benefits from development. The World Bank’s Cooperation in International Waters in Africa (CIWA) programme is providing valuable support in unlocking these challenges and furthering climate resilient resource development. We conducted the programme’s mid-term review (MTR), which identified a series of interventions that would strengthen the CIWA programme towards improved efficacy. However, without support, the CIWA Project Management Unit would find it difficult to undertake many of these interventions whilst continuing to ensure the day-to-day maintenance of the programme.
A MTR provides an external review based upon team insights informed by many different inputs. The opportunity to support CIWA to strengthen the programme provided the chance to connect with CIWA and its funding partners in a more engaged manner. The need to re-think and re-frame strategic aspects and approaches required iterative discussion and insight development of an external team together, with those programme operatives that work on such programmes on a daily basis. Therefore our approach of continuous feedback and updates with the client was imperative to develop appropriate strategies and products. A key dimension in this was for us to clearly articulate the need for an internationally supported programme of this nature to fully address the needs of local conditions, whilst fulfilling the intention of the development partners. With this in mind, the initial focus upon crafting the programme’s theory of change and streamlining the results chains to form a compelling and consolidated framework was important. Thereafter, support in addressing aspects of governance and strategic frameworks became important to ensure clarity of intent and operational effectiveness.