IWMI’s new strategy shows the way forward for collective action on water security

Strategy 2024–2030 sets course for the next stage of the organization’s research and innovation journey.

The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) is launching today a new strategy covering the period 2024–2030. It sets an ambitious agenda for research and innovation on water security, around three strategic focus areas: Mitigating water risks; Overcoming global inequalities; and Managing water sustainably. The strategy also emphasizes the power of collective action, which IWMI will harness to ensure that adaptive, robust solutions have lasting impacts.

“Today, IWMI’s priority is to push the boundaries of excellence in our research-for-development work and raise ambition for collective action on water security,” said Simi Kamal, Chair of IWMI’s Board of Governors.

Under the motto “Driving Action. Propelling Change,” IWMI’s new strategy applies agile, interdisciplinary and systems-oriented research for development to address complex water problems.

“Solutions to complex water problems are most successful when scientists work together with policy, development, business and investment communities,” said Mark Smith, Director General of IWMI. “We must align with others to transform water security and create the integrated solutions for food security, nature and climate change needed on the pathway to a just and sustainable future.”

Download the IWMI Strategy 2024–2030: Research and Innovation for Water Security
IWMI Strategy 2024–2030: Research and Innovation for Water Security (PDF)

The design of the strategy was guided by questions and grounded realities from across IWMI’s rich and diverse network of partners. Government ministers asked IWMI representatives questions like “How will we manage future water risks?” and “Will there be enough water to meet our development goals?” Partners concerned about inclusive access to water asked, “How do we make sure no one is left behind?”

With young water leaders, IWMI convened the Transformative Futures for Water Security dialogue and heard clear priorities from across Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. IWMI’s new strategy sets out how IWMI will contribute to these priorities through research and innovation in collective action partnerships.

The IWMI Strategy 2024–2030 was soft-launched during the 10th World Water Forum in Bali, Indonesia. At this event, representatives from government agencies, funders, civil society, researchers, and other partners built a tower using wooden blocks, symbolizing their joint commitment to collective action for water security.

Government representatives stand for a photograph with IWMI leadership at the “IWMI Strategy 2024–2030” launch event in Bali, Indonesia, during the 10th World Water Forum. From left to right: Shavkat Rakhimovich Khamraev, Minister of Water Resources of Uzbekistan; Rachael McDonnell, Deputy Director General of IWMI; Shakti Bahadur Basnet, Minister of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation of Nepal; Oudomsack Philavong, Director General of the Department of Water Resources of Lao PDR; and Mark Smith, Director General of IWMI. (Photo: Rodrigo Ordonez/IWMI)

Since its founding 40 years ago, IWMI has contributed to water management in the Global South through new knowledge, research and innovation. IWMI’s mission is research and innovation in partnerships for collective action that advance the transformation of water systems for sustainable, just and climate-resilient development.

IWMI is an international, research-for-development organization that works with governments, civil society and the private sector to solve water problems in developing countries and scale up solutions. Through partnership, 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. Headquartered in Colombo, Sri Lanka, IWMI is a CGIAR Research Center with offices in 15 countries and a global network of scientists operating in more than 55 countries.

For media enquiries, please contact IWMI’s communications team.

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