Coordination and Facilitation (B3)

Coordination and facilitation bodies (CFBs) and instruments play the very important role of articulating and harmonizing the actions and visions of the numerous entities concerned with water management. Whether it is at the international, national, or even regional level, mediators are always needed in dealing with water related issues. Tools under this section can be seen as tying strings for an IWRM strategy and for good water governance to crystalize.

The effectiveness of an institutional arrangement relies on the extent to which its political, social, and administrative systems carry out their respective roles. That said, an institutional arrangement for water management may still be deficient even if these administrative systems are well functioning on an individual basis. In essence, a well-functioning institutional framework needs solid components just as much as it needs some articulating mechanisms so that these components mesh properly. CFBs and their linked instruments fulfil the functions of these much needed transmission belts.

The nature of water issues is complex and, in that way, does require multifaceted solutions. Yet, socio-political structures are traditionally set up according to institutional functions, which are not necessarily adequately equipped for tackling such wide-ranging environmental challenges. The main roles of coordination and facilitation bodies is to put the variety of concerned actors around the same table and orient them towards a collective goal and vison. CFBs can also become key instruments for participatory processes and for conflict prevention.

The mechanisms of coordination and facilitation for a water management system will need to be highly compatible with the Legal Frameworks (A2) that are in place. As well, the Policies (A1) for water and related resources must be considered. Coordination among different types and levels of government policies will be a key function of coordination and facilitation and it will be essential to have a full understanding of all related laws and policies for the particular water governance system.

From a wider angle, CFBs also have an important role in integrating water specific issues into a larger natural resource management framework. The IWRM principles stipulate that water should be managed with clear consideration of the land and other environmental resources. In trying to find solutions to water challenges, one should thus always approach water not in isolation but rather in connection to the broader biological and physical surroundings. In other words, IWRM is a water-centred resource management strategy that is by no means defined nor limited to water itself. CFBs and their associated tools ensure that the needs and challenges that relate to other resources are adequately taken into account.