Description/achievement of initiative
IW:LEARN is the Global Environment Facility's (GEF) International Waters Learning Exchange and Resource Network. The IW:LEARN project was established to strengthen transboundary water management around the globe by collecting and sharing best practices, lessons learned, and innovative solutions to common problems across the GEF International Waters portfolio. It promotes learning among project managers, country official, implementing agencies, and other partners.
GEF IW: LEARN is a project funded by the Global Environment Facility, implemented jointly by the United Nations Development Programme and United Nations Environment Programme and managed by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Lead partners of the project include GRID-Arendal, Conservation International, The Global Water Partnership, The International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River, the International River Foundation, The International Union for the Conservation of Nature, The Nature Conservancy, The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, The International Hydrological Programme and World Water Assessment Programmes of UNESCO, The United Nations Industrial Development Organization and The World Wildlife Fund.
Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer
One consistent strategic objective of GEF IW is to support foundational capacity building, portfolio learning, and targeted research needs for ecosystem-based joint management and governance of transboundary water systems. The project supports capacity-building through a consolidated service line including the Biennial GEF International Waters Conference, global/regional thematic training, project twinning exchanges, global dialogue participation, regional transboundary dialogues, programmatic support (in terms of guidelines and toolkits), the project website (a content management system, iwlearn.net), data and information management.
GEF IW:LEARN is the flagship of the IW Focal Area and setting the cross-project and cross-agency experience sharing and learning agenda. With the Focal Area lacking an overarching governing convention, IW:LEARN can be seen as filling the gap of the function of experience sharing and learning under conventions and their subsidiary bodies. This project will leverage funds from partners as it mainstreams agency learning and capacity into the GEF IW portfolio, and brings new partners for capacity building in the portfolio. The GEF grant will resource a planned series of activities that leverage cost-savings and improves project performance for the projects in the IW Focal Area.
Coordination mechanisms/governance structure
A PCU is headquartered at UNESCO-IOC’s offices in Paris, co-located with the GEF LME:LEARN project. The projects are executed in parallel with a common PCU.
The PCU is responsible for the overall project co-ordination and ensures that activities are undertaken in conjunction with partners and are delivered according to the PSC agreed time-line. The PCU also has extensive responsibilities for monitoring the overall performance of the project against the indicators/targets in the results framework as part of the M&E activities. Much of the data for this project comes from surveys of workshop follow-up, twinnings, exchanges, etc., to gather as much quantitative data as possible about the outcomes and impacts of the GEF IW:LEARN project, and to report this data to the Project Steering Committee(based on the baseline established from the last phase of the project). The indicators and proposed targets are presented in the Project Results Framework and the Key Indicators. It is expected that the PCU will survey participants immediately following an event and then at 6 and 12 months to assess impacts. Participants will sign an agreement to provide feedback as a condition of attendance of IW:LEARN supported activities. The project is operational until 2020.
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO IOC), GRID-Arendal, Conservation International (CI), The Global Water Partnership (GWP), The International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR), The International River Foundation (IRF), The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), The International Hydrological Programme and World Water Assessment Programmes of UNESCO, The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and The World Wildlife Fund (WWF).