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DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF UNESCO

Meeting on the External Evaluation of the World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP)

Meeting on the External Evaluation of the World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP)
  • © UNESCO/M. Ravassard

Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, expressed his satisfaction at the holding, on 24 October 2007, of an information meeting on the External Evaluation of UNESCO’s contribution to the World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP).

The meeting was held as a side event of the 34th session of the General Conference. Mr Matsuura noted that the evaluation came at the perfect time for the programme, which is entering into its third phase, with a new coordinator and new premises in Perugia, Italy. He noted that WWAP could very much benefit from the evaluations’ valuable recommendations.

The meeting, hosted by UNESCO’s Internal Oversight Service, began with an introduction by András Szollosi-Nagy, Director of UNESCO’s Division of Water Sciences, and a presentation from the lead external evaluator, Professor Miguel Medina, from Duke University. Prof. Medina outlined the findings of the evaluation, underscoring that the creation of a UN system-wide continuing assessment process involving 24 UN agencies, lead by UNESCO, was a major achievement. He also noted that WWAP and the World Water Development Report (WWDR), the primary output of WWAP, played a major role in raising global awareness of the water crisis and promoting regional cooperation. He went on to state that the WWDR was used as a valuable reference, particularly in developing countries, and that the case studies from the WWDR encouraged many national government agencies to organize their data collection and reporting efforts more efficiently.

Prof. Medina highlighted some challenges identified by the evaluation team, including: that the science database that underpins the WWDR could be enhanced, without sacrificing the socio-economic-political aspects that appeal to many UN agency collaborators. He noted the necessity of achieving an even greater collaboration between UN agencies in the programme, and recommended that WWAP develop a more compact and focused format for the WWDR, while maintaining its broad appeal. Finally he informed the delegates that the evaluation recommended increasing the number of case studies worldwide, devoting greater efforts to capacity building, and that the next report should address the effects of climate change on water resources.

The new coordinator of WWAP, Mr Olcay Unver, then took the floor to illustrate how WWAP was already responding to the major recommendations of the external evaluation. He noted that WWAP had put together a technical advisory committee, an independent body made up of renowned scientists, to enhance the science database of the WWDR. Further, a number of experts groups would be constituted on various themes such as climate change, policy relevance, and enhancing indicators. He confirmed that the new report (WWDR-3) would be 40% shorter, and would include a separate volume on case studies. Finally, he announced that the major theme for the third WWDR would be Climate Change and Water.

  • Author(s):Office of the Spokeswoman
  • Source:Flash Info N° 156-2007
  • 25-10-2007
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