Thematic Note: The Challenge of Integrated Watershed Management: Analysis of the Bank's Actions in Watershed Management Programs 1989-2010

Oct 2011
The objective of this thematic note is to analyze IDB's actions in integrated watershed management during the period 1989-2010. The approach of the IDB's loan portfolio in this sector shifted from having an emphasis on resource management and conservation (in the 1990s) toward financial support for actions to promote sustainable development and the improvement of the population's quality of life, as well as institutional reforms through the use of programmatic policy-based loans. In general, project evaluability was found to be low. The main limitation is the lack of effective outcome indicators to measure impact. A case study is presented on the Guaíba Watershed Environmental Management Program I (1993, US$132 million), which was the only program with an integrated water resource management approach. On the organizational front, the IDB is working to create a specialized watershed management group to update the 1996 guidelines and identify new methodologies to meet the new challenges of project formulation in this sector.