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Water and Development Partnership Programme

Water and Development Partnership Programme

Deadline: 18-Mar-2024The IHE Delft’s Water and Development Partnership Programme invites proposals for projects in the water sector with focus on research, education and/or capacity strengthening activities.

The Water and Development Partnership Programme envisions a world where inclusive and diverse partnerships and marginalised knowledges transform the ways they know, use, share and care for water. To achieve this, the programme funds bold, creative and transdisciplinary projects that combine research, education and capacity strengthening activities aimed at creating a peaceful, just and sustainable world. Implemented with the support of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the programme supports organisations in non-European, low- and middle-income countries as they strengthen their capacity to manage water in sustainable and inclusive ways.This call aims to identify promising small-scale projects that align with the philosophy, approach and focus of the Water and Development Partnership Programme. In particular, this call solicits inter- and transdisciplinary projects that focus on research and/or education and proactively facilitate the dissemination and uptake of research findings and education materials in the water sector. The projects should be implemented by consortia of at least three eligible organizations of which one or more preferably are based in one of the focus regions of the programme.Thematic Focus
  • They seek projects that aim to develop viable pathways to redress issues related to inequities and ecological degradation in water-related developments that are aligned with one or more of the thematic areas listed below.
    • Water and Health
      • Aiming to improve and upscale the provision of adequate, affordable and inclusive water and sanitation services, particularly for marginalised groups and/or areas.
      Water for Food
      • Developing sustainable and climate-resilient irrigation practices and agroecosystems to support the livelihoods of actors involved in small- and medium-scale agriculture. Also focuses on conserving biodiversity and ecosystem services.
      River Basins and Deltas
      • Achieving more secure, equitable, and ecologically sustainable governance and management of river basins and delta regions, including coastal areas and aquifers.
    Projects focusing on the development or improvement of water-related infrastructure or for conventional outreach and awareness interventions will not be supported by this call.
  • Funding Information
  • A maximum of 14 projects will be selected, each receiving a budget ranging from €50,000 to €100,000 for a working duration of two to three years.
  • Guiding Principles
  • To increase the chances of achieving the envisioned impacts and contribute to wider socially inclusive and ecological sustainable transformations, the programme encourages empathy and reflexivity within partnerships to create inclusive and conducive working cultures and stimulate joint learning. Therefore, the programme has defined the following guiding principles for collaboration:
    • Partnerships develop a broad, multifaced and historical understanding of the problem and aspire to help solve problems as experienced by those with whom they collaborate and engage.Partnerships adopt a practice-based approach, implying that their research and activities are empirically anchored in the actions and doings of water actors.Partnerships actively encourage and nurture diversity by creating safe spaces for collaboration based on mutual trust and respect and by appreciating different ways of knowing – e.g. defining, interpreting, assessing, valuing and evaluating – water.Partnerships adopt a transdisciplinary process by actively engaging non-academic actors and in this way contribute to pluralizing water sciences by engaging with different water wisdoms, experiences and perspectives.Partnerships actively embrace inter-and multidisciplinary processes, methods and approaches, particularly encouraging collaborations and cross-fertilizations between social sciences, natural sciences and engineering.
  • Eligibility Criteria
  • Projects should be formed by consortia including at least three eligible organisations, with preferably one or more based in one of the focus regions of the programme, particularly:
    • The Horn of Africa: Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda.The Middle East: Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine, and YemenThe Sahel: Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, and Nigeria
    Eligible and preferred organizations
    • To strengthen the water sector in non-European, low- and middle-income countries, the Water and Development Partnership Programme mainly aims to engage a wide range of organizations involved in managing water in its broadest sense in these countries. These organizations may include organizations such as water utilities, river basin organizations, irrigation boards, water-dependent industries, relevant government agencies, NGOs and CSOs representing grassroots initiatives, and universities working on water-related topics.Organizations can be partners with whom IHE Delft has worked before, yet the programme also welcomes new organizations, especially when they contribute to diversifying the collaborations. In case a call for proposals is also open for activities outside the focus regions, project teams will still need to demonstrate how relevant project outputs are actively shared with organizations within the focus regions.International organizations – including their locally or regionally registered subsidiaries – and partners and/or individuals from high-income countries other than IHE Delft can only participate in the projects in case their added value can be made explicit and they will not be eligible for funding from the programme. By limiting the involvement of such organizations, the programme aims to directly redress geographical inequities in knowledge production and ownership and create space to stimulate efforts to enrich, pluralize and decolonize knowledge on water. Moreover, it allows to provide specific opportunities for education offered by, and capacity strengthening of, organizations and individuals from non-European, low- and/or middle-income countries.Particular efforts will be made to engage organizations and disciplines that have been less involved in mainstream collaborative projects on water thus far. For instance, by actively reaching out to, and supporting projects that include, various kinds of social scientists working on water (e.g. anthropologists, human geographers, political scientists, sociologists, historians, public administration, economists, lawyers) and/or non-academic organizations such as NGOs, CSOs, and private sector organizations actively involved in managing water.
    Preferred individuals and marginalized groups
    • At the individual level, the programme will encourage especially the involvement of early-career staff members of the partner organizations to participate in – and benefit from – the activities of the programme and associated projects. In particular, the programme will focus on providing opportunities to (early-career) female staff members to redress gender imbalances in the water sector that are still prevalent. By supporting their careers the programme aims to contribute in the longer term to less masculine and more inclusive working cultures within water sector organizations. Moreover, supporting women to be prominently involved in and/or lead the research and education within the programme may contribute to invigorating new approaches, insights, and solutions needed to achieve the envisioned transformations and/or that might be particularly focused on addressing the challenges that women face concerning water.
  • For more information, visit IHE Delft.

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