Phase 1 (2002-2007) of CPWF’s work comprised more than 68 projects working in 10 river basins. A major learning point between Phases 1 and 2 was, that in order to have impact, there was a need to move from isolated projects to integrated programs at the basin level. It was also agreed to move from working in ten river basins to six basins.
In Phase 2, our river Basin Development Challenge (BDC) Research Programs were contracted and launched in six river basins. The Andes, Mekong and Nile basin programs got off to an early start: design and contracting are finished and field research has begun. Fieldwork in the Ganges, Limpopo and Volta basin programs are designed and underway or formally initiated during 2011.
Each BDC Research Program consists of four to five inter-linked projects. Taken together, these projects form an integrated approach for tackling the BDC in question. Project selection and design are shaped to fit the local conditions of the basin and the development challenges being faced.
BDC Research Programs are also a testament to our approach to augmented partnerships and an expansion in the scope of research. Fourteen of our 29 projects are led by non-CGIAR institutions. Each project features participation by at least four to five partnering institutions. Each BDC program is comprised of 20 or more partner institutions (4-5 projects x 4-5 partners per project). These institutions learn how to work together, rising above their own cultures, organizational needs and priorities. Although such partnering takes time, we have found that it is important to build trust and linkages between the different partners early on. The value is working together to solve problems and getting wider buy-in.