Review of the Swiss Transboundary Waters Programme

Mekong River

Transboundary cooperation in the management of shared water resources is a building block of international security and regional stability. The Swiss Agency for Cooperation and Development (SDC) is running a major transboundary waters programme called "Water Diplomacy and Governance in Key Transboundary Hot Spots" to foster cooperation among riparian states and communities.

The programme supports activities to increase cooperation on more than 15 river basins and aquifers around the world and promotes international initiatives to strengthen legal frameworks and capacities for water cooperation. Programme activities are being conducted by five partners of SDC - the Centre for Development and Environment University of Bern (CDE), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).

adelphi was commissioned to conduct an external review of the overall programme and a more detailed assessment of the three subsidiary activities of the CDE, IUCN and UNESCO. A team of adelphi experts carried out primary document analysis, semi-structured interviews with relevant local stakeholders and international experts, and field missions to key project sites in Central America, Central Asia, East Africa and the Mekong Basin. Based on this, adelphi prepared an extensive evaluation report including assessments of the programme activities along four main evaluation criteria: relevance, effectiveness, sustainability, and strategic partnerships. adelphi further identified important lessons learned on fostering transboundary cooperation and provided strategic recommendations for improvements with a forward-looking view to the implementation of the programme’s third phase, which will start in 2016.

Publications of this project