September 2008: Cowater Improving Water Sector Governance in Africa

Through two separate projects being carried out on behalf of the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Water Facility (AWF), and the African Minister’s Council on Water (AMCOW), Ottawa-based Cowater International Inc. is playing a catalytic role in improving water governance in Africa.

Through the eight-month Pan African Water Sector Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Assessment, Cowater has provided the AWF with a tool to assess “who is doing what, where and how” in water supply & sanitation and water resources M&E on the African continent. Cowater has also developed a comprehensive framework and action plan to support the coordinated strengthening and harmonization of water sector M&E systems over the coming years, beginning with in-depth benchmarking evaluations of these systems at the country level using a pragmatic rapid assessment template developed by Cowater’s team. Field studies and assessments were carried out in Congo-Brazzaville, Malawi, Senegal, Tunisia and Uganda. Cowater’s recommendations were discussed at a high-level M&E Working Group meeting in Tunis in September, after which the next phase of the AWF/AMCOW-led M&E strengthening initiative will commence.

Cowater is also carrying out a five-month study for the AfDB, informed by field research in Burkina Faso, Kenya, Malawi, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda, to review and analyze water sector governance in Africa. Cowater is producing guidelines and indicators to be used by AfDB loan officers in appraising projects and characterizing the state of water sector governance in regional member countries in support of the preparation and appraisal of AfDB-financed water sector programs.