Shared watercourses, such as transboundary river basins, present a range of opportunities for cooperation to support regional economic development. The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is home to 15 shared river basins, including the Limpopo, the Zambezi and the Cubango-Okavango, with most of these being shared between at least two countries. Developing shared watercourses provides a way of furthering SADC’s objectives of increasing regional integration and development, and reducing poverty.

The purpose of SADC’s Regional Strategic Action Plan (RSAP) on Integrated Water Resources Development & Management (IWRDM) is to implement SADC’s regional policy and strategy for the water sector.

The objective of the RSAP IV (2016-2020) of the SADC Water Programme is:

“To unlock the potential for water (and related resources) to play its role as an engine and catalyst for socioeconomic development through water infrastructure development and management to support water supply and sanitation, energy, food security, and security from water-related disasters with the ultimate goal of contributing towards peace and stability, industrialisation, regional integration and poverty eradication.”

OneWorld carried out the Mid-Term Review (MTR) of RSAP IV, undertaking a systematic evaluation of the progress made towards achieving its operational objectives, as well as developed key recommendations to inform the next iteration: RSAP V (2020-2024).

The project team is applied a theory of change (ToC) approach, through stakeholder engagement, desktop document reviews and a strategic institutional and governance assessment. Key stakeholders include member states, River Basin Organisations (RBOs), various SADC institutions, International Cooperating Partners (ICPs) and implementing agencies.

Specific areas of assessment included: i) determining the implementation status of RSAP IV work programmes; ii) evaluating the progress made thus far; iii) analysing the environmental, financial and socio-economic sustainability of implemented activities; and iv) appraising various modes of project delivery.

OneWorld’s activities included:

  • Reviewing key regional and national policies and strategies, records of ministerial and committee meetings, and records of SADC regional water dialogues and RBO workshops.
  • Conducting interviews and focus group discussions with key stakeholders from the SADC region involved in implementing and/or developing RSAP IV.
  • Presenting and validating the findings and recommendations to the SADC Water Resources Technical Committee (WRTC) and Water Strategy Reference Group (WSRG).

Project Data


Southern African Development Community (SADC)


Southern African Development Community


February 2019 - June 2019
Building Resilience to Climate Change in South Africa’s cities
Sunset over the Zambezi RiverDeveloping Guidelines for Screening Climate Change in Zambian Sectoral Policies, Plans and Strategies