GWS facilitates the harmonization of partners and their interventions, promoting concerted, participatory and inclusive decision-making processes. 

ICONOS Plataforma

GWS strengthens partnerships between, in the one hand, sub-national and service delivery institutions from territories where service delivery are already well developed and, in the other hand, sub-national institutions within territories where universal access has not yet been fulfilled.

This way, GWS gives the opportunity to articulate local demands to what decentralized partners can offer, technically and financially. This is achieved through different partnership modalities adopted by GWS members, including:


GWS partnership modalities

  • public-public partnerships between two towns (Lausanne-Nouakchott)

  • partnerships that are carried out through a local water actor (Le Syndicat des Eaux de l'Ile de France, SEDIF-Laos)

  • multiple partnership agreements (Water Right Foundation –Italy, and several municipalities in Armenia)

  • multiple partners from the North and from the South (Madagascar)

  • bilateral national level agreements that trickle down at the local level (France-Vietnam)

  • partnerships facilitated by UNDP's ART network of decentralized cooperation partners (El Salvador, Lebanon and Senegal)


These exchanges also prompt a "dialogue between territories" that takes place from a partnership perspective and is based on mutual respect, equality and reciprocity, as initiatives are aimed at long-term relationships and processes. It enables improved coordination and leads to a better "division of labor" that is based on demand, resources and competencies.

GWS works for bottom-up and participatory processes that strive for complementarity within territorial development plans and alignment to national priorities.

Furthermore, GWS promotes and institutionalizes articulation between and across levels (global, national and local). This articulation ensures a multilevel governance approach to water management, vital to the long-term results of interventions.


In El Salvador (UNDP ART El Salvador and the Basque Water Agency), the project "Improving Water Governance in El Salvador" follows this multilevel and territorial approach. It ensures the participation of all stakeholders and tackling water issues at several levels:

- national level, to influence the legal framework

- basin level, to promote articulation among actors

- micro-regional level, to reinforce the necessary capacities and to promote inter-municipal management of water

- municipal level, to conduct small infrastructure projects that ensure ownership, the political commitment of elected mayors and user participation.

Finally, the articulation efforts of GWS at the international level make the territories' needs known and development partners more visible, contributing to muster financial and technical support at the global level, as the cases of El Salvador, Morocco, Lebanon and Madagascar demonstrate. It also allows local actors to participate in international debates, enriching discussions with a local vision based on best practices and lessons learned.


Read more


Global Water Solidarity - International Platform
United Nations Development Programme - Geneva Office
11-13 Chemin des Anémones, 1219 Geneva, Switzerland
Tel: +41 (0) 22 917 87 68

Copyright - Privacy notice - UNDP website