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Updated: Thursday 13 March 2008

EMPOWERS Guidelines, Methods and Tools

Patrick Moriarty, Charles Batchelor, Firas T. Abd-Alhadi, Peter Laban, and Hazem Fahmy (2007)

For the table of contents and to download documents, please scroll below.

About the Guidelines:

These guidelines are designed for use in processes of planning and dialogue within and between local and intermediate levels. They describe a practical and logical framework of activities based on the involvement of those who use and manage water, which leads to improved local water governance, and to the development of integrated water development plans for towns, villages, district and governorates. The guidelines advocate a process of collaboration through dialogue, to bring about a change in the way water sector professionals and water users work with each other.

For whom?

These guidelines are relevant to all those concerned with practical approaches for tackling the complex themes if water governance and IWRM. They are particularly relevant for those who want to initiate and facilitate change processes to improve local water governance.

About the Approach:

EMPOWERS undertook action research to strengthen dialogue between water stakeholders, using a strategic management approach based on scenario-building. Action research was chosen as the most appropriate methodology, given the need to turn the abstract concepts of integrated water resources management (IWRM) into practical tools that would help water stakeholders to improve their day-to-day work with, and use of, water. The four main focus areas of the approach:

  • Increasing the influence of stakeholders (particularly the poorest and most marginalised) on the planning and decision-making process for the use and management of water resources,
  • Enhancing vertical and horizontal linkages and information flows between water stakeholders,
  • Demonstrating the effectiveness of the approach through pilot projects,
  • Documenting the learning process.

The EMPOWERS approach taken as a whole is new, or at least, newly articulated. It brings together many components adapted from well-proven methodologies in the fields of project management, business management and rural development. The approach also builds on existing sets of guidelines such the EC Guidelines for Water Resources Development Cooperation (EC, 1998) and the RAAKS guidelines (Engel and Salomon, 1997).

Work on these components has taken place in countries in several continents and were further developed through the EMPOWERS Project. These guidelines have been developed and tested extensively within villages and towns in Egypt, Palestine and Jordan with populations ranging from a few thousands to 30000 inhabitants. They have also been tested at the level of districts or governorates with populations of 200000 - 300000 people...

Although this approach and guidelines reflect the organisational and governance realities in the MENA region, they are sufficiently generic to be of wider interest in other countries within MENA and outside it. Training based upon the guidelines has been well received across the MENA region, while the methods and tools have been used in settings as diverse as Nigeria, India and Malta. That said, water governance always has to be explored, understood and re-developed locally in each country. Solutions cannot be prescribed from outside.

A major strength of the EMPOWERS approach is that it provides a framework for specialists to support a stakeholder-driven process, overcoming the failings of approaches that focus entirely on top-down decision making by specialists or bottom-up intuitive decision making.

Issues of equity are addressed and efforts towards including marginalised sectors of communities in decision-making processes are assessed. The conclusion is that mainstreaming gender and making water governance pro-poor need time, resources and champions.


Table of Contents:

- Introduction - What this book sets out to do.

- Chapter 1. Improved water governance

- Chapter 2. Overview of the approach

  • Stakeholder dialogue and concerted action
  • Management Cycle
  • Key issues addressed by the approach

- Chapter 3. Facilitation and capacity development

- Chapter 4. The management cycle.

- Chapter 5. Methods and tools for the EMPOWERS approach

  • Tools for visioning; scenario building; strategy development and planning.
  • Tools for participatory learning and action (6 tools)
  • Tools for assessing (8 tools)
  • Tools for working with stakeholders (10 tools)
  • Tools for Monitoring (3 tools)

- Appendix 1. Examples from Meithaloun village, Palestine.

- Appendix 2. Acronyms and glossary of terms.


NB: A related publication to this background document is The EMPOWERS Approach to Water Governance: Background and Key Concepts.

This Guideline document is also available in Arabic.


Copyright © 2007 The EMPOWERS Partnership.
Extracts of this publication may be reproduced in any non-advertising, non-profit making context provided the source is acknowledged as follows:

Moriarty, Patrick; Batchelor, Charles; Abd-Alhadi, Firas T.; Laban, Peter; Fahmy, Hazem (2007)
The EMPOWERS Approach to Water Governance: Guidelines, Methods and Tools

ISBN 978-9957-8624-6-6

Publisher: INWRDAM on behalf of the EMPOWERS Partnership

To order hard-copies of this publication, please contact:


P.O. Box 1460, Amman 11941, Jordan
Phone: 962 6 5332993
Fax: 962 6 5332969
E-mail: inwrdam@nic.net.jo

Disclaimer: EMPOWERS was co-funded by the European Union MEDA Water Programme. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of the authors and cannot be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.

- Download:
Guidelines - Complete_Document.pdf  (1,005.6 kB)
ISBN 978 - 9957 - 8624 - 6- 6
FileGuidelines: Table of Contents and Introduction

Guidelines - Content+Intro.pdf  (242.7 kB)

FileGuidelines: Chapters 1 to 4

Guidelines Ch 1-2-3-4s.pdf  (250.9 kB)

FileGuidelines: Chapter 5

Guidelines - Ch 5s.pdf  (465.8 kB)

FileGuidelines: Annex 1

Examples from Meithaloun village, Palestine.

Guidelines - Appendix1.pdf  (622.9 kB)

FileGuidelines: Annex 2 - Glossary


Guidelines - Annex 2 - Glossary.pdf  (256.6 kB)

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