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Title: Integrated Water Resources Management Implementation Among African Countries
Authors: Herrle, Julia
Advisors: Widner, Jennifer
Department: Woodrow Wilson School
Certificate Program: Environmental Studies Program
Class Year: 2019
Abstract: Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) is a process coordinating water management across sectors and borders in order to balance economic gains from water resources development, social welfare, equity, and environmental sustainability. At the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, 193 countries pledged to develop IWRM plans by 2005. In 2015, the United Nations officially incorporated IWRM implementation by 2030 into the Sustainable Development Goals in recognition of IWRM’s importance to achieving SDG 6, water and sanitation for all. SDG Indicator 6.5.1 Degree of IWRM Implementation tracks country progress toward implementing IWRM, and data from 2017 included 46 reporting African countries. Degree of implementation for reporting African countries ranged from low, or IWRM still under development, to medium-high, with IWRM implementation started and the 2030 goal of full IWRM implementation deemed attainable. My research question arises from this variation in African country scores: What explains variation in degree of IWRM implementation among African countries that pledged to implement IWRM at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002? To answer this question, I use a combination of quantitative framing for preliminary evidence of hypotheses and case study analysis. For my quantitative framing, I draw mainly on data from the World Bank’s World Development Indicators, the World Governance Indicators, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation’s Information System on Water and Agriculture. For my case studies, I analyze legislation and policies, project reports from donors and implementing partners, conference proceedings, newspaper articles, recorded speeches and interviews with government officials, and country progress reports and strategies. I find evidence that both scientific and governance capacities are important explanations of differences in degree of IWRM implementation, and capacity at the local watershed level is particularly decisive; heavy international donor involvement helps explain successful IWRM implementation when donors prioritize water management, and a donor’s priorities are partially explained by water stress and its impact on livelihoods; the impact of water stress on degree of IWRM implementation is ambiguous because there is evidence of a causal mechanism working in both directions; and historical transboundary cooperation provides a forum for knowledge sharing, capacity building, and donor involvement in IWRM implementation. These findings inform efforts to improve IWRM implementation in lagging countries, which is increasingly important in the face of heightened water stress due to climate change.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Woodrow Wilson School, 1929-2019

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