i. Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM)

The programme supports the sustainable development and management of water resources and conservation and sustainable use of water resources in Kenya. It also adopts a human rights-based approach to water with the aim of empowering marginalized communities to understand their rights, roles and responsibility in relation to water management. The desired outcome is that the community will exercise their right and participate in planning and decision making and water governance processes. This will promote better service delivery as well as demand for accountability and transparency from the duty bearers in water services. In addition, Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) is a complimentary approach which provides an immediate entry point to mainstream gender and climate change into water conservation. IWRM aims to promote sustainable local livelihoods through wise use of wetland resources, build climate resilient community and increase women’s participation in water management and good water governance.

ii. Gender and Water

While Gender and Women Empowerment is recognized globally as integral in the achievement of economic growth, human well-being and poverty reduction in all the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly Goal 5 and nationally in the Constitution of Kenya, 2010, this appreciation and recognition remains largely on paper. Women are the economic force and the main supporters of their families and water managers despite the challenges. They are the main suppliers of energy, water, food and medicinal plants to their families. However, understanding the critical nexus between women empowerment/gender and water resources management, still remain a mystery to many decision-and policy makers. The program aims at ensuring that national and county level water and environmental management policies are gender inclusive and that these are effectively implemented towards achievement of sustainable development

iii. Climate change, food security and conflict management

Climate change will affect all four dimensions of food security including food availability, food accessibility, food utilization and food systems stability. It will have an impact on human health, livelihood assets, food production and natural resources availability. Climate change impacts will be both short term, resulting from more frequent and more intense extreme weather events, and long term, caused by changing temperatures and precipitation patterns. People who are already vulnerable and food insecure are likely to be the first affected. Agriculture-based livelihood systems that are already vulnerable to food insecurity face immediate risk of increased crop failure, new patterns of pests and diseases, lack of appropriate seeds and planting material, and loss of livestock.
Limited natural resources often play a crucial role in areas caught in a cycle of conflict; impacts related to severe weather and climate change are expected to make such conflict worse. The program seeks to build better agricultural practices and conflict resolution capacity by providing capacity building opportunities and policy interventions for interactive conflict resolutions and reconciliation in areas where there has been environmental threats such water scarcity, droughts, competition over land for grazing and farming and poverty.
iv. Organizational Development and Knowledge management (under ‘Our Work)
Organizational development (OD) and knowledge management (KM) are two modern concepts employed by organizations to ensure their resources are used to improve efficiency and effectiveness of organizations performance. CESPAD intends to integrate these concepts into the working of the organization.


CESPAD is a member of KEWASNET, Kenya Water Partnership and Kenya Wetlands Forum (KWF).
Close collaborators of CESPAD include GIZ, Wetlands International, WIN, WWF, Imarisha Naivasha, and Global Water Partnership (GWP).


• 2018- Deepening Democracy Program: Empowering Citizens for accountable water services delivery monitoring in Garissa County funded by UKAid through the Institute of Social Accountability (TISA).
• 2018-Training community water users groups on finance management and accountability in Kericho, Nandi, Laikipia, Kwale, Tharaka Nithi and Migori.
• 2018 – WRUA capacity assessment, institutional governance and integrity training advocacy and lobbying training for WRUA representatives in Sondu Basin, GIZ
• 2017 – 2018 - Formulation of Kajiado County Water Policy in collaboration with Kenya Water and Sanitation Network (KEWASNET)
• 2016 to Date - Strengthening Transparency, Accountability and Participation in WRUAs in Lake Naivasha Basin. The project is implemented in collaboration with Water Resources Authority (WRA); World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) through Integrated Water Resources Action Plan Programme (IWRAP) and Community Based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM) Programmes ; GIZ International Water Stewardship Programme (IWaSP) and the Water Integrity Network (WIN). The project interventions are: a. Development of a governance, advocacy and communication training modules for WRUAs in Kenya b. Delivery of pilot trainings and follow up on WRUA governance and integrity support in Mkungi-Kitiri, Mariba, Upper Gilgil and Kianjogu WRUAs in the Lake Naivasha Basin c. Repeat capacity assessment in Mkungi-Kitiri, Mariba, Upper Gilgil and Kianjogu WRUAs, representation of WIN in steering committee meetings d. Follow up coaching and mentorship of Mkungi-Kitiri, Mariba, Upper Gilgil and Kianjogu WRUAs in lake Naivasha Basin e. Training of trainers and on-the-job training on Capacity assessment tool and training modules f. ToTs to water Resources Authority CDOs from the six WRA regional and Sub-Regional offices in Kenya g. On-the-job-trainings to WRA CDOS in Athi Basin h. Documentation of the WRUA capacity development approach, project success and lessons learnt.
• 2017 to Date - Citizen Social Accountability Stewardship for Effective Water Governance and Water Security for All. The project is implemented under the Watershed-empowering citizens is a strategic partnership of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in particular the IGG department, DSO and relevant embassies) and IRC, Simavi, Wetlands International and Akvo. The project interventions are: a. Training of WRUAs and water users’ groups’ on social accountability advocacy resource mobilization, financial management, partnership building and county integrated planning process(CIDP) for empowered collective action and voice in Kajiado County. b. Strengthening WASH/WRM framework through collective civil society engagement in County legal processes c. Documentation of best practices and lessons learnt on integration of WASH and IWRM for good water governance.
• 2012 to 2015- Promoting Integrated water Resource Management in Kenya (IWRM) focusing Makueni, Kajiado and Machakos Counties in Kenya. The project was implemented with support of the government of UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) in collaboration with the government of Sweden (GoSw) through ACT! Changieni Rasili Mali (CRM) Facility. The project interventions were; a. Training of water resource Users associations on organisation governance, advocacy, monitoring water resource mapping among other capacity areas b. development of sub- catchment management plans c. Promotion of stakeholder engagement as well as participatory approach in conservation activities by user groups.
• 2012 - 2015 - Organizing and facilitating Water sector discussions forums on devolution status; highlighting key policy and legislation gaps; deliberate on “readiness” and “capacity” of county governments in taking up water and sanitation services; Project inter-county sharing of water resources and disputes handling mechanisms; and analyze the overlaps in the proposed Water bill 2012 and Water bill 2014.
• 2013 - Preparation of Makueni County Integrated Development Plan in partnership with Community Management and Training Services.
• 2012 - 2015 Organizing Water sector discussions forums on devolution status; highlighting key policy and legislation gaps; deliberate on “readiness” and “capacity” of county governments in taking up water and sanitation services; Project inter-county sharing of water resources and disputes handling mechanisms; and analyze the overlaps in the proposed Water bill 2012.