Managing the freshwater impacts of climate change in Southern Africa is as much a development challenge as a climate change one. Even without climate change, many of the region’s water resources are facing overuse, pollution and degradation.

In this context, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Water Division (Directorate of Infrastructure Services) established an annual Multi-stakeholder Water Dialogue as an annual platform. The Dialogues aim to further the objectives of regional cooperation on water management and governance.

Under the Regional Climate Change Programme, funded by DfID, OneWorld co-facilitated the second, third and fourth Multi-stakeholder Dialogues, hosted by the SADC Water Division. These were aimed at supporting climate resilience building in the SADC region, through water sector-related initiatives, which became a stated policy objective in the region.

The Dialogues bring together water managers, agronomists, scientists and researchers, representatives of industry, cooperating partners and others to consider the theme “Watering Development in SADC” and related issues. This work has been conducted on a partnership basis with SADC Water, the Global Water Partnership (GWP) and other key regional institutions. OneWorld led the exchange and hosted the workshops.

OneWorld introduced climate change and water security to the Dialogue in 2008 (Maseru), focusing on the water, climate, energy nexus, using an R&V mapping approach. Subsequently, OneWorld, within the RCCP program co-facilitated the next three Multi-stakeholder Dialogues with the themes of Benefit Sharing, Security and the water, energy and climate nexus, and Climate Finance.


Policy Brief No. 3: Africa’s water: Driver of conflict or source of cooperation? 

Reasearch Brief 4: Transboundary Water: Climate change and development impacts on Southern African water resources: A synthesis.

Water: A Transboundary Assessment (Information for Adaption Series 12.3)

Climate Change and Health in the water sector (Information for Adaption Series 12.7)

Dialogue Outcomes

Project Data


Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) (formally DFID)


Southern African Development Community - SADC


2008 - 2013
Mainstreaming Climate Change in Zambia's 6th National Development Plan (2010)
Western Cape Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan