From 4-6 May, some 70 people working with the Nile Basin Development Challenge convened in Addis Ababa with three objectives in mind:

  • Assess science progress of the NBDC program and projects
  • Review and strengthen project synergies and progress
  • Reach consensus on core concepts and approaches

To foster integration across the various projects, the workshop was organized around 5 cross-cutting themes:

Theme 1 looked at rainwater management strategies and aimed to clarify the key concepts and shared undersatnding among the various teams.

Theme 2 looked at  various research and development processes key to the success of the projects: platforms, innovation systems, networking, learning, policies, and institutions.

Theme 3 looked at livelihoods impacts, who the projects are targeting, gender dimensions, and how to integrate these concerns across the various projects

Theme 4 looked at water and productivity aspects – and modeling – to achieve a better understanding of the system at sub-catchment to basin scales.

Theme 5 looked at environment and ecosystem impacts, examining how we link rainwater management strategies with broader environmental health and ecosystem functions and notions of resilience.

During the sessions, we organized three ‘hard seat’ interviews with colleagues attending the workshop.

The final session looked across the projects at issues of communication and capacity building and reflected on progress towards the workshop objectives.

In the synthesis session Shirley Tarawali (see below) highlighted two overall lessons from the workshop discussions: First, the broad science concepts have been articulated but still need to be translated into practical realities on the ground. Second, issues of cross-project and cross-theme integration need to be addressed realistically to ensure synergies.


Workshop notes and materials are posted on the project wiki

Workshop presentations are on slideshare

Video reports from the discussions are online