The BRAVE Project Annual meeting – Day 2 and 3

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DAY 2

24th to 26th January 2017 at La Palm Beach Hotel, Accra, Ghana

The second day of the AGM started with an opening session by Professor Rosalind Cornforth. This day was dedicated to all the project stakeholders. After a brief presentation of the different work packages, participants was divided into small groups to discuss the relevance of BRAVE approach.

The subdivision was made based on the sector of the stakeholder: NGOs, Academic and Government sector. This session is called Participatory partners discussion and synthesis. For each group, some questions was designed to conduct the discussion.

For the NGOs sector (CARE International, Christian Aid Sahel, Reseau Marp, IRC Ghana, and Lorna Young Foundation):

  • What are the barriers to implementation ground water (GW) management in the countries?
  • What are the opportunities for integration GW management in the communities?
  • How can NGOs support advocacy pathways for GW?

For the Academic sector (University of Accra, Wascal, University of Ouagadougou Ouaga, University of Koumassi, University of Reading, and British Geological Survey)

  • What other initiatives are there that can complement this work?
  • What entry point are there engaging with NGOs and policy makers?
  • What are the barriers to taking your work form research to policy/practice?

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For the Government institution sector (SP/PAGIRE, NADMO, Ghana and Burkina Met offices, Community Water and Sanitation Agency, Water Resource Commission)

  • What are the constraints on GW initiates?
  • What is the current GW situation and is it an issue?
  • How are poverty and GW linked?

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The rest of participants participated in discussion with questions and comments. The sessions were very useful because it allowed stakeholders from Burkina and Ghana to share their experiences and approach in groundwater management and communication.

Some interesting ideas comes out from the exchanges, particularly in term of communication. This included how to better communicate the research results to stakeholders, the integration of ground really at community level into the planning, and the participation of women’s group into the groundwater management.

The relevance of learning platforms and particularly the participation of different group to this platforms was one of the key factor designed for the success of the BRAVE project. Activities of capacity building, information sharing and monitoring can be carried through the platforms.

It was mentioned also that the decentralised platforms (District level) must be established with the decentralized government institution, like the district assembly in Ghana.

In the discussions, some barriers to the implementation of activities was noted:

  • The non-effective participation of women in water resource management regardless the policies that integrate gender approach
  • The plurality of stakeholders engaged in water sector
  • The complexity of communication/language between researchers and NGOs, policy makers, etc. – scientist must develop a very good way to better communicate their research findings
  • Lack of knowledge on groundwater resource and a lack of measurements.

Some opportunities were also noted to further activities:

  • The existence of institutional framework for water resource management and policies documents in Ghana and Burkina Faso
  • The existence of learning alliance platforms for sharing.

After stakeholder’s group discussion, IRC Ghana presented their approach to distiller the BRAVE research findings in Ghana. This based on the relevant existing platform and the establishment of news platforms particularly at district level. The presentation was followed by discussion chaired by IRC Ghana. Participants were given flow for question and responses.

Some key elements regarding communication strategy has been mentioned by participants:

  • Use the Volta Basin Authority website as a communication channel
  • Find out the impacts of the Mole conference in Ghana, after 27 years of tenure what are the impacts of this meeting on the water sector in Ghana?
  • The measurement of the impacts and how to better measure the impacts of stakeholder’s activities in the water?

This session was very useful for exchanges between partners and for the exercise on stakeholder’s engagement conducted by Professor Rosalind Cornforth. The main objective of the exercise was to map the different stakeholders in water sector in Ghana and Burkina Faso and particular their power and interest in water resource management.

During this second day, two other presentations were made:

  • Presentation on the Ghana met Service experience in Rainwatch, which is a platform for rainfall monitoring and actually implemented in 12 countries in sub Saharan Africa.
  • The new ERADACS project presentation to participants and followed by a brief survey to identify stakeholder’s need in term of products and utilisation.

Day 3

The last day of the meeting, Thursday 26th January, was mainly dedicated to 3 parallels discussions on work packages. In 3 groups, participants was discussing on the activities and the next steps for each work package. A table containing timeline and activities was created  and main upcoming meetings identified for participation.

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