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CPWF’s work was conducted in two phases. As the program’s understanding of global water-related development challenges became more complete, CPWF adjusted its programmatic approach. One of the primary lessons learned was that river basins are an appropriate geographic scale at which to identify and conduct many research-for-development projects related to water and food.

CPWF’s first phase (2004-2008) was designed to explore a wide range of potential methods and approaches for defining and solving water and food problems. Phase 1 comprised more than 68 thematically defined projects across ten river basins. When planning for its second phase, CPWF decided that in order to have impact the program needed to move beyond isolated projects to integrated programs at the basin level.

CPWF’s second phase (2009-2013) was structured around basin development challenges (BDCs)—priority water and food development challenges that were identified through stakeholder consultation. Phase 2 research was carried out in six river basins: the Andean system of basins, Ganges, Limpopo, Mekong, Nile and Volta. Each basin research program consisted of four to five inter-linked projects. Project selection and design were shaped to fit the challenge and the local conditions of the basin. Four to five partner institutions were involved in each project, such that each basin program was comprised of 20 or more partner institutions that formed a diverse, multi-disciplinary research team.

Explore research highlights from each of the ten river basins where CPWF conducted research below.