Report: Demand-driven Research & Innovation Outlook – Analysis of local needs related to water and climate challenges

  • IHE Uta Wehn
    Uta Wehn
    Associate Professor of Water Innovation Studies
    IHE Delft
  • Food Security
  • Water management
  • Utilities

12 February 2018

In order to better prepare African stakeholders for climate change challenges in the short, medium and long term, AfriAlliance tries to match their knowledge needs with existing solutions and innovations. Identifying specific needs is therefore of crucial importance. In one of our latest reports, we focus on the needs related to climate change challenges of water managing organisations in Africa, such as public utilities and (small) private water operators, water authorities and civil society organisations. The needs of water using organisations will be addressed in a follow-up report in 2019.

The report uses both, a top-down and a bottom up analysis. The top-down analysis points to the challenges that African countries face for the food-water-energy nexus in the face of Climate Change. The societal challenges in Africa in the short term are to ensure food security, water security and energy security, and the balance among them. In the long term, the challenge is to transform into a low-carbon, resilient and sustainable society. This is complemented by a bottom-up approach for identifying needs at local level. The bottom-up investigation found that the needs and problems are distinctly different per stakeholder group, reflecting their different roles in water management.

The report also analyses the perceived barriers and bottlenecks that may hamper the uptake of existing solutions by African stakeholders, as well as the enablers for innovation uptake. The identified barriers include a lack of environmental education and awareness of climate and water issues, lack of financial support as well as lack of access to innovation and knowledge & technology transfer, among others. Community-based and multi-disciplinary approaches that integrate indigenous knowledge emerge as important enables of innovation uptake.

Through this extensive analysis AfriAlliance has obtained valuable insights into the needs of water managing organisations. The results will be used as the starting point for other project activities, such as matching the identified needs with existing solutions, the Social innovation Factsheets and Policy Briefs.

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Author: Uta Wehn (IHE Delft), Angeles Mendoza-Sammet (IHE Delft), Natacha Amorsi (OIEau)

Report: Demand-driven Research & Innovation Outlook – Analysis of local needs related to water and climate challenges

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