Activities and Results
In the first Member States Water Expert meeting on the EU Water Initiative, 22nd of April 2002, it was agreed that the initial regional focus should be
PHASE IV (2006-2008)
The EUWI FWG has now entered a critical stage in its operation. The past three years have seen it evolve from having a supply sided focus to its present country focused and demand led approach. However, a major constraint of the FWG, under the current approach, is the lack of funds to carry out all its activities. This has affected its ability to quickly respond to requests for assistance coming from the developing country partner governments. Therefore, the FWG Secretariat is drafting a strategic Medium Term Work Programme covering the period, 2006-08 to presents all the activities that the FWG would like undertake in this period with their associated costs and current sources of funds. This will help to identify the funds required to complete all the activities planned for 2006-08, identify funding gaps and seek new funding sources. Many of these activities are a continuation or extension of those that were started in the third work programme in 2005-2006.
The aim for the EUWI FWG for the period, 2006-08 will be to:
- consult widely with stakeholders to ensure that FWG is making real contribution;
- provide support in the finance sector to Country Dialogue Groups and governments on demand led basis;
- develop tools to enable decision makers to compare investment options quickly and efficiently and to disseminate the availability of these tools; and
- liaise closely with the various EU organizations and facilities providing finance to the WSS sector to help maximize benefits and the achievement of the MDGs.
In order to encourage other donors to contribute to the FWG, an agreement has been reached with the Global Water Partnership Organisation (GWPO), based in Stockholm, to establish and manage a dedicated FWG Funding Account which will be used to provide the funding needs of the FWG. In addition a new FWG chair, Johan Holmberg, has been approved and is expected to take up his position in July 2006.
Currently support for FWG Secretariat and the Medium Term (2006 - 08) work programme has been received from the UK (DFID) and Sweden (Sida).
PHASE IV (2006-2008) : activities and progress 2007
In 2006 the Finance Working Group of the EU Water Initiative identified a number of activities and areas of focus for the working group. These included two key areas of focus:
Development of a harmonised approach to financing strategies that are being used in partner countries (e.g. SWIFT and FEASIBLE) and define best practice.
- Capacity building related to water sector finance.
PHASE IV (2006-2008) : activities and progress 2006
Phase III (2005-2006)
On the basis of the recommendations from the Phase II Report, Finance Working Group met in Brussels on the 10th of March 2005 to discuss the future strategic direction for the finance component in general, and the role of the FWG in particular. There was a general consensus amongst the FWG members to take forward the work programme of the FWG to the next, country focused level, so as to determine and assess the country specific water sector financing needs and constraints and tailor solutions to address them. Therefore FWG's third work programme 2005-06 adopted a demand led, country focused perspective. The FWG had so far taken an African focus. In the third work programme, this was expanded to cover the Eastern Europe, Caucasus & Central Asia (EECCA) region.
The FWG agreed to:
- Work with the Working Group on the Water Supply and Sanitation in Africa (WG WSS-Af) on a Country Dialogue process to engage with four national governments (Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique and Zambia). The FWG responded to the needs of the partner governments, as identified by the dialogue process, where it could. It was acknowledged that the process was slow as it is dependent on the extent and speed of the government's response. The FWG was constrained by the limited funds that it had and as a result had not been able to respond to all the requests that it has had so far.
- Provided support to the ACP Water Facility to maximize opportunities for leveraging private sector funding to the water sector (this involved reviewing the COWI report, providing feedback on the guidelines for the Second Call for Proposals and the development of a set of keysheets to assist applicants source additional financing.
- to further develop the Financing Guide web-site started under the Phase II work. The FWG Secretariat commissioned a peer review of the website, with the aim of identifying data gaps and developing an ideas for maintaining and supporting the website on a longer term basis.
- Provide support to WSPAf to implement the Sector Wide Financing and Investment Tool (SWIFT) in Mozambique. SWIFT aims to assist country level sector institutions in developing financing strategies for the water sector.
- Provide support to the Environment Action Programme Task Force (EAP TF for which the OECD serves as Secretariat) to apply the FEASIBLE tool (including a new rural water component), the methodology and inputs into policy discussions and analysis in Moldova. This followed a request for support from the Moldovan delegates to the EAP Task Force at the Task Force meeting in November 2005, the FWG agreed to contribute funds to develop water sector financing strategies to achieve the water related MDGs and assess the social impacts of financial reform in the water sector in Moldova.
PHASE II (2004-2005)
In 2004-2005, the FWG met four times, to facilitate the second work programme. This constituted a demand-side assessment of financial mechanisms (both successful and unsuccessful), based on experiences of the FWG members. The FWG was expanded to include African Ministers' Council on Water (AMCOW) representatives and other developing country organisations and institutions. FWG members were actively consulted during the process of work programme, to solicit their views and get comments. This took place via email, phone and during the EUWI FWG meetings, including the 2004 FWG meeting in Stockholm (which was open to a wider range of stakeholders attending the Stockholm Water Week).
While the focus had shifted from a supply side perspective to a more demand sided one there was still very little on the ground country specific response from the FWG. A report and its associated products (including the beginning of the Water Finance Guide website) were the final outputs of the EUWI Finance Working Group's Phase II activities, which took place during 2004.
PHASE I (2003-2004)
In 2003-2004, the newly established FWG met three times during the year, to complete the first work programme. This involved the production of a report identifying the financial challenges facing the water sector, the gaps and overlaps of currently available funding and the need to improve the leverage of existing funds and the efficiency of their use. The focus was from a supply side perspective with little involvement from developing country stakeholders and FWG members.