Evaluation of the International Water Stewardship Program (IWaSP)

Water Ring (©Elhenyo/Thinkstock by Getty Images)

ISOE – Institute for Social-Ecological Research evaluates water partnerships between the private sector, civil society and the public sector in various countries. The project team first develops an evaluation concept and then performs a baseline study. IWaSP is a transnational program of the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) that aims to establish and support water partnerships.


About 900 million people still have no access to clean drinking water. And competition for water is growing. Private households, industry, and ultimately, agriculture – all are competing for a resource which is becoming ever scarcer. In regions where water is already scarce, for example in many parts of Africa, climate change is threatening to make the situation even worse. Conflicts between competing water users can cause environmental damage and have significant effects on social structures. Disputes can also pose a manufacturing and investment risk for companies. As a result, it is more vital than ever that all stakeholders cooperate.

Research approach

In this area, the GIZ is working with a new approach: The goal is to strengthen the adaptability of all water users to the effects of climate change. The private sector is increasingly encouraged to reduce collective water risks. The goal is to find joint solutions for a secure water supply with the help of multi-stakeholder-partnerships. Currently, the program is active primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa. The approach is to be implemented in other regions in the future.

The ISOE project team evaluates these partnerships, focusing on the following issues:

  • Can water risks be reduced equally and for all stakeholders by actively including private sector enterprises?
  • Are private sector enterprises interested in these kinds of partnerships?
  • Can all stakeholders voice and enforce their demands equally, regardless of their financial contribution or influence?
  • Under what conditions can the water partnership approach be transferred to other countries?

In cooperation with the British Overseas Development Institute (ODI), ISOE is developing a concept  to evaluate the „Water Stewardship Partnerships“ which will accompany the process. Implementation of this concept will begin with the evaluation of partnerships in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia.

Project partner

Overseas Development Institute (ODI), London, UK


Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Eschborn, Germany


Kramm, Johanna/Stefan Liehr/Engelbert Schramm/Martina Winker/Helen Tilley/Nathaniel Mason/Simon Hearn (2014): Assessing the Processes and Performance of the International Water Stewardship Programme: Concept Paper. ISOE-Materials Social Ecology, No. 44. Frankfurt am Main Download (pdf)


2013/10 – 2014/12