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Evaluation of USAID/Southern Africa's programme to "improve management of shared river basins"
July 2007
United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Acknowledgements: FANRPAN acknowledges the DEC website as the source of this report: http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PDACK369.pdf


Executive summary

USAID commissioned a mid-term evaluation of the Okavango Integrated River Basin Management Project (IRBM) in order to assess progress and consider possible directions for further program development after 2008. Conducted with limited resources over a relatively brief period, the assessment identified significant positive accomplishments, despite a number of issues and challenges.

Accomplishments of IRBM in its first two years have included contributions to: establishing a Secretariat for OKACOM and transferring responsibility for the Secretariatís ongoing support to regional partners; a pioneering river basin organization (RBO) workshop; cross-boundary river basin management networks; and significantly strengthened relationships with partners. Challenges for the project include institutional, technical, and financial sustainability; certain differences between the priorities of USAID and those of regional partners; uncertainties about future roles and activities of GEF; enhancing the relationship with SADC; and improving IRBM-related communications with Angolan partners through increased bilingualism.

As requested by USAID, the assessment team recommended program strategies and actions for the remainder of the current program, 2007-2008: assure smooth and effective transfer of the Secretariat responsibility to OKACOM, assist OKACOM in assuring a structure for technical oversight and assistance functions, increase the focus on assisting OKACOM with longer-term priorities (see below), and take appropriate steps in relationships with SADC and, as possible, GEF.

For USAID regional environmental efforts beyond 2008, the team recommended two emphases: a focus on strengthening OKACOMís roles in establishing sustainable regional institutions for future water resource management and transboundary cooperation and assisting partners to transfer lessons learned from experiences with integrated river basin management among major river basins in Southern Africa.

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