In his welcoming message, GWP Chair Howard Bamsey highlights the Covid challenge, explaining how GWP managed to sidestep some of the obstacles connected to this: “Based on experience gained through hosting online annual Network Meetings over the past two years, we immediately mobilised our staff and partners to operate virtually so we could deliver on our 2020 commitments to the greatest extent possible. This worked.”
One of the successful online activities – achieved at global level – was the continued support to countries in their efforts to achieve the water-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In 2020, GWP provided support to 61 countries to report on the status of SDG indicator 6.5.1, showing the level of progress on Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM). This support included hosting multi-stakeholder consultation workshops and providing guidance materials in different languages.
Another successful global online activity was the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), Governance for Transboundary Freshwater Security, which included working with key partners in the transboundary water space. The course opened at the end of August 2020 and, as of May 2021, more than 2,000 learners from 150 countries have participated.
In Africa, the Continental Africa Water Investment Programme (AIP) was formally adopted by all African Union heads of state in February 2021 – this was the result of hard work throughout 2020. The AIP will address the continental water investment gap by leveraging finance for sustainable water supply and sanitation, while supporting business development, job creation, gender equality, and climate resilience. GWP is providing technical support for programme activities through the Africa Coordination Unit.
The release of the GWP in Action 2020 Annual Report coincides with the network’s 25th Anniversary celebrations – marked in various activities throughout the year – as well as the GWP 2021 Regional Days, taking place (virtually) on 31 May to 3 June.