National Policy Dialogues on Integrated Water Resources Management
National Policy Dialogues (NPDs) on Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) and Water Supply and Sanitation (WSS) are the main operational instrument of the European Union Water Initiative (EUWI) Component for Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia. The EUWI, including its Component for Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia, was launched at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002 with the aim to support the implementation of the water-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) is the strategic partner for support to the policy dialogue processes on IWRM, whereas the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is the strategic partner for WSS and economic and financial aspects of IWRM. Altogether, since 2006 EUWI NPDs have been carried out in nine countries. The EUWI Component for Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia is presently chaired by Romania.
Policy dialogues are based on consultations with relevant ministries, agencies and institutions (including science and academia), non-governmental organizations (NGOs), parliamentary bodies and other national and international organizations. The dialogue process is usually conducted under the leadership of a high-level Government representative, such as the Minister/Deputy Minister of Environment or the Chairman of the State Water Committee. In the respective countries, national Steering Committees or Coordination Councils are established to guide and steer the NPD process. They include representatives of relevant ministries, agencies and institutions, as well as NGOs.
The Steering Committees meet at least on an annual basis at the national level. They discuss key national water policy issues and adopt decisions on NPD activities. International and donor organizations, such as the European Union (EU), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the World Health Organization (WHO) and bilateral donors are invited to the policy dialogue meetings.
In addition to their original function of supporting the development of policies on IWRM and WSS, in several countries the NPDs and their Steering Committees have become national coordination mechanisms for water-related projects carried out under the auspices of international organizations (e.g., the EU, UNECE, UNDP, the World Bank and OECD) and donor countries (e.g., Finland, Norway, Switzerland and the United States of America). This contributes to a more efficient use of available funds.
The European Union Water Initiative National Policy Dialogues on Integrated Water Resources Management are financially supported by the European Union, Governments of Denmark, Finland, Germany, Norway and Switzerland. More information about financial support can be found here.