About us

IWMI’s vision is a water-secure world.

IWMI is an international, research-for-development organization, with offices in 15 countries and a global network of scientists operating in more than 55 countries. For over three decades, our research results have led to changes in water management that have contributed to social and economic development.

IWMI’s vision is a water-secure world. IWMI targets water and land management challenges faced by poor communities in developing countries, and through this contributes towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of reducing poverty and hunger and maintaining a sustainable environment.

Based on evidence and knowledge drawn from our science, innovative technologies and testing of business models, IWMI works with governments, policymakers, farmers, civil society, water managers, development partners and businesses to solve water problems and scale up solutions. Through partnerships, IWMI combines research on the sustainable use of water and land resources, knowledge services and products with capacity strengthening, dialogue and policy analysis to support implementation of water management solutions for agriculture, ecosystems, climate change and inclusive economic growth.

IWMI’s value proposition is unique. It rests on our track record of more than 30 years of rigorous, solutions-oriented water management research, built on long term partnerships at local, country and regional levels, a sustained field presence across Africa and Asia, and recognized through the prestigious Stockholm Water Prize in 2012.

IWMI is a Research Center of CGIAR, a global research partnership for a food-secure future. The 2030 Research and Innovation Strategy situates CGIAR in the evolving global context, which demands a systems transformation approach for food, land, and water systems. IWMI led the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE), a global program connecting partners to deliver sustainable agriculture solutions. Over the course of its ten-year journey (2012–2021), WLE operated in over 60 countries, working with more than 300 partners and completing over 200 projects. These activities made significant contributions to enhancing our natural resources and directly benefited millions of lives across the Global South.


CGIAR is a global research partnership for a food-secure future. CGIAR science is dedicated to transforming food, land and water systems in a climate crisis. Its research is carried out by 13 CGIAR Centers/Alliances in close collaboration with hundreds of partners, including national and regional research institutes, civil society organizations, academia, development organizations and the private sector.


Transformative Futures for Water Security (TFWS)

Water security is key to our collective future, yet many parts of the world today are deeply water-insecure. Progress on United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 must accelerate with a sense of great urgency, given the pressing need for improved water and sanitation access in communities across the globe.

Climate security is also deeply intertwined with water security. As we enter in a new era of water risks, governments, businesses, and water users across sectors — as well as the global water science community — are not doing nearly enough to adapt and build water security for the 21st century. Fragmentation of water science and data, and poor water governance remain deeply problematic. Current water management methods, as well as underfunded water services and infrastructure, are often proving relatively inflexible in the face of intensifying climate change. Meanwhile, youth voices are too often excluded from important conversations about how to most effectively bridge the gap between science and water policymaking.

Without immediate and bold action, water security is set to worsen.

To strengthen the response to these pressing challenges, the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) is promoting the Transformative Futures for Water Security initiative. Over the past year, and through a unique process that included eight virtual regional dialogues and a global conference held this February in Cape Town, the initiative convened representatives from the private sector, water user and advocacy groups, research institutes, political entities, and youth networks to identify critical gaps and opportunities in water research, policy and action.

Transformative Futures for Water Security

United Nations Global Compact

IWMI is committed to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and its Ten Principles. As a leading research-for-development institution, we stand at the forefront of addressing the world’s most pressing water scarcity challenges. Our deep-rooted understanding of the multifaceted complexities surrounding sustainability in diverse human and ecological contexts motivates us to consistently prioritize decisions with lasting, positive impacts on our planet’s invaluable resources.

UN Global Compact

IWMI’s UNGC Engagement report 2022

IWMI Strategy (2019–2023)

Innovative Water Solutions for Sustainable Development

IWMI’s forward-looking strategy for 2019-2023 responds directly to the demand for innovative, scientifically tested water management solutions for sustainable development. With offices in 15 countries and a global network of scientist operating in more than 55 countries, our research at field to basin and regional scales our strategy focuses on science for a transformative agenda. With this in mind we will address three high priority water challenges.

To improve food security will sustainably managing water resources and ecosystems.
To adapt to and mitigate climate change while building resilience to water related disasters and disruption.
To reduce poverty and advance inclusion with equality as agriculture transforms, energy transitions and urbanization intensifies.

Mark Smith
Director General

Rachael McDonnell
Deputy Director General – Research for Development

Pay Drechsel
Senior Fellow-Advisor - Research Quality Assurance (Interim Country Manager)

Mark Dubois
Country Representative and CGIAR Water Systems Lead - Laos; Regional Representative South East Asia – (CR Rep-rotational)

Mohsin Hafeez
Director of Water, Food and Ecosystems

Inga Jacobs-Mata
Director of Water, Growth and Inclusion

Fulco Ludwig
Director Water Data Science and Digital Innovation

Syon Niyogi
Chief Operating Officer

Rodrigo Ordóñez
Global Communications Lead for Water Systems

Henry Roman
Country Representative - South Africa – (CR Rep-rotational)

Vidhisha Samarasekara
Strategic Program Director – Water Climate Change and Resilience

Mark Thomson
Director - Business Strategy and Delivery

Funders and Partners

IWMI thanks all its partners for their support and contribution to its research work and we look forward to strengthened partnerships and many more collaborations in the future.

IWMI funders and partners