To build the case for the Water Fund through scientific analysis and build credibility through monitoring and evaluation of interventions.
Why is this necessary?
Science-based decision-making is undertaken to inform decision-making and guide the strategic decisions of a Water Fund. While high-quality scientific studies can support the credibility of a Water Fund, low-quality studies can have long-term effects to stakeholders' confidence in proposed projects and the reputation of the approach at large.
Science-based decision-making is a fundamental concept for all Water Funds. While there is a broad range of tasks that will be undertaken in the thematic area of science-based decision-making, key areas include:
There are a range of technical studies that will need to be completed to design and operate the Water Fund. See the list of steps below by phase to better understand the scope of studies.
Setting short and long-term goals for Water Funds is critical. This should include not only goals for water security, but other important aims of the Water Fund such as biodiversity, ecosystem services, and other co-benefits.
Monitoring and Evaluation
Monitoring and Evaluation Programs are the central mechanisms through which progress towards goals are evaluated and stakeholders can be informed that milestones have been achieved.
Science-based decision-making within the 5 phases of the Water Fund Project Cycle:
Phase 1: Feasibility
The Feasibility Phase includes two 'checks' to test if a Water Fund is the right water security tool. First, a test of 'eligibility' is completed by quickly determining if there are water security challenges and a potential for a Water Fund to help. If yes, feasibility is then explored further by developing a deeper understanding of the situation and generally how a Water Fund could positively contribute to water security within the defined area.
The purpose of a Situation Analysis is to: (a) assess the feasibility of a Water Fund (by more deeply understanding the situation); and (b) generally determine how a Water Fund could positively contribute to water security within a defined area/region.
The Decision Support Document informs decision-makers on deciding if the Water Fund should proceed to the Design Phase. This document provides related recommendations and conditions for moving ahead.
Phase 2: Design
The Design Phase is undertaken to develop the best solutions for the identified water security issues and to choose the appropriate water fund configuration which accounts for key technical issues, financial considerations, governance dimensions and strives for maximum impact.
A Water Fund Strategic Plan is created to establish a long term (5-year) plan that creates clarity, focus and a shared roadmap for implementing important strategic choices made by the leadership of a Water Fund.
The purpose of Clarifying the Challenge is to be clear on: 1) how to define the challenges the Water Fund is going to help address, 2) what success looks like and how the Water Fund contributes to that success, 3) how to identify the risks and obstacles and how they can be mitigated/navigated, and 4) how to formulate the Water Fund’s strategy, objectives, and 5-year goals by tangible actions the Water Fund will conduct.
Pilot projects are often implemented to establish a 'proof of concept', groundtruth implementation models and/or develop implementation capacity.
Phase 3: Creation
The Creation Phase is undertaken to formalize and publicly launch the water fund.
Phase 4: Operation
The Operation Phase is undertaken to establish stability by developing and implementing a comprehensive work plan, which guides systematic execution of activities, measurement and evaluation, and communication of progress towards the goals of the water fund. These activities should be continuously improved through adaptive management, refinements, and innovation.
The Annual Operating Plan addresses key aspects related to operating the Water Fund, including technical matters, marketing and communication, stakeholder engagement, fundraising, administration of the Water Fund, quality assurance, adaptive management, innovation, and planning.
The purpose of incorporating adaptive management into the operations of a Water Fund is to systematically use monitoring information to make adjustments or corrections to management actions in order to achieve desired outcomes and continuously improve Water Fund operations.
Phase 5: Maturity
The Maturity Phase is a determination that assures the long-term viability of the water fund to create significant and lasting impact that positively contributes to water security.