The Water Dialogues

In January The Water Dialogues officially closed its operations at international level and the project effectively ended. 

Brief Background: 
The Water Dialogues were a series of national multistakeholder dialogues and research processes focusing on examining whether and how the private sector can contribute to the delivery of affordable and sustainable water supply and sanitation services, especially to poor communities. The Water Dialogues project traced its origins to the Bonn Freshwater Conference where the German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul expressed support for a “stakeholder dialogue” to review issues surrounding private sector participation.

Following an in-depth scoping review involving over 300 interviewees, participants of a Conference in Berlin mandated the Working Group – the Brazilian Association of Municipal Water, Water Fountains, Outdoor Fountains, Wall Fountains and Sanitation Public Operators, Consumers International, the Environmental Monitoring Group (South Africa), Public Service International, RWE Thames Water (UK), the Ugandan Association of Private Water Operators, and WaterAid(UK) – to advance a project linking national dialogues under an international umbrella.

National Dialogues were established in five countries – Brazil, Indonesia, the Philippines, South Africa and Uganda – with an International Working Group providing an overseeing and linking function. 

Closing Activities:
By December, Brazil, the Philippines, South Africa and Uganda National Dialogues had all closed their operations and completed their research. At many of their final meetings, however, the Working Groups were encouraged by external stakeholders present to continue their Dialogue, so some of the National Groups are exploring options for continuing and/or for assisting with existing national programs.

The exception is the Indonesia National Dialogue, which has already begun planning for a second phase of research. 

The Water Dialogues, with the generous support of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, as well as the Department for International Development and the Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility, hosted its International Final Conference in Bonn on 7th and 8th December with 57 participants. More information on the objectives and proceedings of the Conference can be found in the "Final Conference" report.

Publications, Future Support & Website:
The Water Dialogues has commissioned and produced a large range of international and national publications and papers that provide detailed insights into the processes and research outcomes of the project. The knowledge base and individual skills and experience developed within The Water Dialogues will not be lost following the closure of the project. 

The library of publications on this website provide the basis for ongoing learning and sharing, whilst the members of The Water Dialogues have joined a “Practitioners Group” setting out their specific interests, background, and availability for providing advice, training and support to other organizations/projects/endeavors wishing to adopt multistakeholder methodologies and approaches to strengthen their work.