Stage 2 - Formulating Reponses

Stage 2 activities assist countries in formulating IWRM responses to water resources management challenges that contribute to advancing SDG 6.5.1 and other broader water-related SDGs that are national priorities

Based on the results of each country’s Stage 1 survey, Stage 2 should focus on formulating appropriate governance responses to strengthen areas of opportunity that may be further developed, with high-impact targeted interventions. This may take the form of an action plan or similar complementary document to the existing IWRM framework within the country. Key to the success of Stage 2 is the alignment between the proposed IWRM responses and the broader national priorities and SDG landscape, including the climate agenda.


Building on national processes and priorities will help to ensure that the solutions identified contribute to meeting existing commitments, increasing resource efficiency and impact. The extent to which the work engages with planning and reporting aspects beyond 6.5.1 is at the discretion of each country, but examples of the type of entry points that the Stage 2 interventions should synergise with include:

  • Formal existing or planned national water governance-related SDG initiatives (not necessarily limited to SDG 6)
  • Climate-related priorities, as exemplified by the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) and the National Adaptation Plan (NAP), among others
  • Other national development frameworks and investment programmes
  • Related socio-economic projects under implementation in the country
  • Ongoing governance reform processes and/or government capacity development programmes.

In Stage 2, a country should design its IWRM responses to be both ambitious and realistic, according to the methods and approaches that suit it best. Since each country has a different set of circumstances, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. If a country has a recently approved national IWRM plan or similar, Stage 2 activities may focus on identifying the appropriate implementation pathway, for example in garnering multi-stakeholder support to accelerate interventions that may be “low-hanging fruit”. If a country has no national IWRM plan, Stage 2 activities may identify the need to formally establish such a plan, among other interventions which may be included in its Stage 3 implementation. Similarly, if a country has an IWRM plan which is rather out-of-date, the updating of that plan could again be one of the country’s Stage 3 activities.

The Support Programme may provide support for countries interested in implementing Stage 2 activities, in partnership with GWP’s Country and/or Regional Water Partnerships. In 2018-19, four pilot countries (Ghana, Guatemala, Kazakhstan and Viet Nam) tested out and improved a standardised methodology for Stage 2. Please click here (link to be provided) to view the report of their experiences and lessons learned.

To view the current status of stage 2 countries, please click here.

The SDG 6 IWRM Support Programme is actively seeking new partners to engage in its activities and increase both the scale and the depth of its support to countries. Please click here for a note on options for engagement in the Support Programme.