This document lays out our research agenda for the coming years, as shaped by CGIAR reforms, the ongoing discussion around the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and the global biophysical and socioeconomic landscape. As leader of the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems, and active contributor to several other CGIAR Research Programs, we use the Strategy to clarify the central role of the CGIAR Research Programs in IWMI’s research agenda.
The new Strategy 2014-2018 simultaneously broadens the Institute’s scientific agenda while sharpening its focus, to ensure its findings have an impact by reaching water users and policymakers.
Building on its core business of developing scientific solutions to complex agricultural water and land management challenges, IWMI will increasingly assume a new role as an impartial think tank on water issues.
“Water issues have never been as acute as they are today,” said IWMI director-general Jeremy Bird. “Climate change, urbanization, population growth, hydropower development and a host of others are having a major impact on water availability and how we, as a research-for development organization, must respond.”
“The new IWMI strategy captures this imperative. It outlines ways for IWMI to be as innovative and effective as possible, as a leader of and a partner in research, and as a trusted, impartial voice in the debate.
The strategy – effective immediately – is based on feedback from IWMI’s research partners and the findings of a Center-Commissioned External Review aimed at refining the Institute’s niche, vision and research agenda. It provides a firm foundation for IWMI’s support of the recently-restructured CGIAR – particularly through its leadership of the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE), one of the world’s largest partnerships for research on sustainable water and land management.
“This strategy represents our commitment to the research programs of the CGIAR as well as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that will come into effect next year,” continued Bird. “It is also a significant opportunity to build new partnerships and ensure IWMI’s science gets to the people who can really make a difference.”
The main points highlighted in the Strategy 2014-2018 are as follows:
- IWMI is increasingly adopting a new role as an independent think tank to stimulate debate and influence water management decisions.
- IWMI will continue to provide science-based products and tools for tackling water management challenges all over the world, especially in Africa and Asia, where water scarcity and water access are persistent problems.
- IWMI will facilitate capacity building and learning in order to increase the likelihood of its research findings being implemented.
- IWMI’s broader vision is now: A water-secure world. This encompasses issues of food, energy and water resources; urbanization and demographic change; human and environmental health; and climate variability and change. It incorporates principles of efficiency and equity to achieve food security, halt environmental degradation, reduce poverty and foster economic growth.
- IWMI’s mission is now: To provide evidence-based solutions to sustainably manage water and land resources for food security, people’s livelihoods and the environment.
The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) is a non-profit, scientific research organization focusing on the sustainable use of water and land resources in developing countries. It is headquartered in Colombo, Sri Lanka, with regional offices across Asia and Africa. IWMI works in partnership with governments, civil society and the private sector to develop scalable agricultural water management solutions that have a real impact on poverty reduction, food security and ecosystem health.
The CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems combines the resources of 11 CGIAR centers and numerous international, regional and national partners to provide an integrated approach to natural resource management research. This program is led by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI).
CGIAR is a global partnership that unites organizations engaged in research for a food secure future. CGIAR research is dedicated to reducing rural poverty, increasing food security, improving human health and nutrition, and ensuring more sustainable management of natural resources. It is carried out by the 15 centers who are members of the CGIAR Consortium in close collaboration with hundreds of partner organizations, including national and regional research institutes, civil society organizations, academia, and the private sector.