- Institutional Strengthening Project
- Shared Vision Program
- Applied Training Project
- Nile Trans-boundary Environmental Action Program
- Regional Power Trade
- Efficient Use of Water for Agriculture Project
- Water Resources Planning and Management Project
- Socio-Economic Development and Benefit Sharing
- Confidence Building and Stakeholder Involvement Project
- Shared Vision Program Coordination
The concept for the SVP Coordination project evolved after the International Consortium for Cooperation on the Nile (ICCON) during the detailed design and preparation process of the seven other SVP projects. The NBI realized that in order to fully develop the synergies created through the Shared Vision Program, significant effort and resources would need to be devoted to coordination at the basin level. It was further realized that while the NBI Secretariat is the correct institution to take on this coordination function, the Secretariat is a relative new institution that would need to be strengthened, both in terms of human and institutional capacity, in order to effectively fulfill this role. The strategic vision, put forth by the NBI, is to build the capacity of NBI institutions, including the Secretariat, to manage and oversee regional projects while maintaining a lean central organization. The SVP Coordination project helps achieve this vision by expanding the Secretariat in a targeted manner to meet the needs of the SVP and by ensuring that all staff, both those funded through the Secretariat’s core budget as well as through the project, are integrated into one team.
To ensure ownership of the project, the NBI Technical Advisory Committee (Nile-TAC) served as the project steering committee for the project. This arrangement helped to keep the Nile-TAC (which is the Board of the NBI) well-informed on the other SVP projects’ progress and facilitated to resolve policy and strategic issues that required intervention and decision by the Nile-TAC. The Project Management Unit was located at Nile Basin Secretariat in Entebbe.
To ensure effective supervision of the Shared Vision Program (SVP) and coordination of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) projects/programs while strengthening the capacity of the NBI to execute basin-wide programs.
Key Outputs/Outcomes Achieved
- Assisted with the start-up and oversaw the operations of the SVP projects including recruitment of staff, establishment of Project Management Units, preparation of projects implementation plan documents and manuals as well as implementation arrangement and procedures for effective and efficient management.
- Strengthened the Nile-SEC staffing and ability to function more effectively as a Nile institution. .
- Mechanisms for coordination and integration of SVP projects and SAPs developed and implemented. This includes the strategic SVP/SAP forum that ensured synergies and mutually reinforced the efforts of each other.
- Upgraded the financial management and procurement systems and built the capacity of staff at the Nile-SEC.
- Established and maintained the NBI knowledge and information systems including the NBI website, IT infrastructure and physical and virtual Library.
- Created an NBI Gender Working Group (GWG) and conducted a gender audit.
- Developed, launched, and managed the NBI Result Based Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) system.
- Supported the preparation of the NBI Institutional Strengthening Project document.
- Developed strategies and action plans for mainstreaming and sustainability of SVP outputs and functions (post closure of individual projects) and for effective operational closure of these projects..
The project met its expected outcomes and contributed towards the overall NBI outcomes and its Shared Vision in the following key areas.
- The project built a permanent capacity within NBI. Today, the Nile-SEC has an improved institutional and human resources capacity that can enable it to effectively manage and coordinate complex, multi-sectoral and basin-wide programs.
- Expanded access to knowledge and information on NBI through the development of the knowledge management systems.
- As a result of effective coordination and follow-up, the Coordination project helped contribute to the SVP projects’ success in implementing activities and delivering results. These projects have together constructed the building blocks for sustainable river basin management through enhancing basin wide capabilities and capacities based on best practices, policies, analytical frameworks, knowledge base and guiding principles on different sectoral and thematic trans-boundary issues.
- The project has created a strong foundation for coordination and creating synergies among NBI programs, the SVP and the SAP that can be built upon for future coordination effort of NBI between its water resources management and development functions – keeping the subsidiary principles and clear separation of roles and responsibilities between the two functions.
- The Results Based System (RBS) established to serve NBI as its overall Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) system has been assimilated in almost all the NBI operations. This RBS enables SVP and SAP projects to be implemented in a coordinated and integrated manner. It also enables NBI and its programs and projects assess progress towards key objectives, and to keep focused on specific outcomes that contribute to the NBI Shared Vision.
The SVP projects, working together, created awareness on the opportunities for beneficial cooperation in the basin and built a community of interest among the peoples of the Nile Basin – a best practice which must be sustained moving forward. As SVP closes the engagement of these stakeholders will diminish resulting perhaps in reduced visibility. The NBI, as an institution, needs to develop ways to continue to engage its key stakeholders in policies, strategies, and investment programs.
The SVP participatory approach that cuts across the NBI operations is a key driver for the ownership and commitment by the various stakeholders of diverse backgrounds. This approach is time-intensive and can slow implementation, but the gains made from this approach in terms of buy-in, support, and sustainability are important and must be factored into future planning..
The engagement of the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) to provide support to SVP projects management resulted in costly management expenses and implementation delays due to the complex nature of the SVP that required UNOPS’s operations support at multiple geographic and organization levels. NBI could have saved considerable of resources if at the early stage all countries have granted legal status to NBI enable the Nile-SEC implement the SVP projects independently in all the countries. This could have also further promoted the full ownership of SVP by the NBI countries and facilitated the inclusion of SVP activities within the national plans.
Strategy to sustain the gains/outputs
The SVP-C outputs and functions are captured and sustained within the Nile-SEC including the human resources, operational and KM systems and other functions that are essential for basin wide program implementation and management.
The overall success of the SVP projects depends on the sustainability of the projects outcomes and functions to support the long-term river basin management. The SVP-C project has made an important contribution in this regard. . Successful implementation of the strategy and action plan for mainstreaming and sustainability of SVP outputs and functions can ensure that outputs and products from the closing SVP projects continue to be delivered as part of the institutionalized functions of the relevant NBI and non-NBI institutions.