@ i~'USAID >'ftTlI'! FROM THE AMERICAN PEOPlE SOUTHERN AFRICA CASE STUDY Promoting Participatory Planning USAID facilitates The Permanent Okavango River Basin Water Commission innovative approach to (OKACOM) provides advice to three riparian states, Angola, build consensus for Botswana. and Namibia, on the management of the Okavango river basin. Getting stakeholder consensus in the planning and planning integrated river coordinated implementation of basin-wide programs is an basin management institutional challenge. Providing opportunities for basin managers and resource users to be involved in a decision-making process improves the sense of ownership and participation in progldm implementation. In 2004. USAID provided support to enhance the capacity of OKACOM to improve its ability to opeldte as a regional river basin organization. At the request of OKACOM, USAID designed and facilitated a stldtegic action planning workshop for OKACOM Commissioners. representatives from civil society. Okavango River Basin stakeholders preparing action plan during Strategic and managers of regional donor initiatives to gather Action Planning Won<shop recommendations, build strong inter-organizational partnerships, and prepare a basin-wide action program. This is first time OKACOM and its key stakeholders had collectively prepared action strategies for basin-wide programs. A comprehensive list of specific and concrete actions, to be implemented with "This process has been a assistance from USAID and other donors. resulted from the ... ''<eha/der designed event and the workshop and has been used by the commission to start and y' ",cess of bringing everyone complete tasks, A major consensus was the need to support together was excellent... , would water resources monitoring and community-based progldms in like to commend USAID for doing Angola. the source of almost all the water for the basin. This that. .. was the first time that all three countries agreed on the need to Director of the Namibian focus on improving management progldms in Angola. N;lture Foundation Using the experience of this participatory approach, OKACOM continues to coordinate basin-Wide progldms and donor initiatives in the basin. The commission, through its member states' technical agencies, now actively monitors communications, and community-based initiatives. Strong linkages have been formed between the commission, local government. communities and civil society in Kuanda Kubango Province in Angola. Assessments of representative communities have been completed and the results will assist the design of demonstldtion environment management projects that link and support local and national government initiatives.
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