The Water and Poverty Initiative: What We Can Learn and What We Must Do

Asian Development Bank (ADB)
Type of Resource: 
Best Practice / Lessons Learned

Produced as a working paper for the 3rd World Water Forum held 16-23 March 2003 in Kyoto, Japan, this paper draws together the lessons learned from case study papers produced for the Water and Poverty Initiative coordinated by the Asian Development Bank. The 30 case studies on which this analysis is based covers 20 countries and regions in Africa, Asia, and Micronesia. They range in size from the tiny atoll of Kiribati in Micronesia, with a population of less than 100,000, to the giant People's Republic of China, with a population of 1.28 billion. The cases explore water issues as they affect the poor in many parts of the world, suggest lessons learned from the sometimes experimental interventions, and challenge some widely held beliefs about water management. The single most obvious idea confirmed in most, if not all the case study papers, is that water is a necessary, but on its own, insufficient precondition for poverty reduction.