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Project Promoting Twinning of River Basins for Developing Integrated Water Resources

- Basin Organisation (BO) is generally regarded as one of the best solutions to adopt for developing an Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) at a catchment level.

- There have then been many types of BO, some of them existing for several decades, and a lot in a development process. They present a great diversity of legal statutes and economic schemes.
None of these can be regarded as a model, but by faciliting direct exchanges on best practices and as well on failed experiments, twinning can help BO to improve their effectiveness : BO can profit from peers, regarding administrative, technical and institutional matters, or a quicker diffusion of the research outputs in the real life.


- A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) takes the form of a co-operation framework signed by a wide range of organisations, both public and private, which have an interest in the deployment of IWRM practices through twinning of organisations. It is a voluntary agreement, entered into by organisations, prepared to be active participants in developing consensus on issues of common interest, and who are willing to commit both human and financial resources for this purpose, by participating in the operation of Specific Interest Groups (SIGs).

- This MoU implies public commitments from signatories, from which : to co-operate in the production of recommendations and guidelines for developing twinning and related services of twinning activities (exchange of information, exchange of personnel) and of common knowledge representation systems and dissemination practices.
The project will support staff mobility between twinned BO for enhancing peer-to-peer exchanges and hands-on periods (0,5 to 2 months).

- The initial partnership gathers 18 participants, but it is forescasted to expand it up to 150 MoU signatories involved in the exchanges, after 48 months.

- The TwinBasin MoU is open for signature by all public and private organisations that share its aims and objectives and are willing to contribute to the work in Europe and Third Countries. It's also open for signature by individuals who are willing to contribute to this work.

Project number 1450
Acronym TwinBasinXN
Geographical coverage France, Spain, Brazil, Sweden, Belgium, South Africa, Hungary, Uzbekistan, Indonesia, Niger, Algeria, Morocco, Senegal, Mexico, Romania
Budget (in €) 1710000
Programme INCO MED (FP6)
Web site

- The main objective of TwinBasin is to support effective use of research and development in the field of IWRM by promoting twinning of BO. This will be achieved by creating a world-wide forum dedicated to identifying and sharing knowledge and best practices, as well as staff exchanges for in-depth know-how transfer.

- Twinning between Basin Organisations is a mean making it possible to obtain concrete results to stimulate and support IWRM. Moreover, recommandations from many international agreements can effectively be implemented thanks to this concept.
- By faciliting direct exchanges on best practices, and as well on failed experiments, twinning can help BOs ti improve their effectiveness by a greater technical, scientific and institutional expertise. The concept of twinning is based on the following observation: BOs can profit from peers opinion regarding administrative, technical and/or institutional aspects, coming from a sister organisation managing a basin in another geographical, political or economic context.

- - The tool thus developed will focus on the capitalization of the acquired know-how to share it on the widest scale possible. Special attention will be paid to the relations between Basins and Research to increase the dissemination of research results to the users and thus improve management according to demand.

- The work is mainly remotely carried out by relying on an appropriate computerized tool, with however opportunities of encounters during INBO General Assemblies.
Web-conferences will be organized with experts to disseminate the results of the research, as well as the reports of the staffs involved in the exchanges.

- The project will financially support exchanges of staff members, about 50% on the average of the travel and stay expenses in the twin organisation : this amount will be modulated according to the organisation of departure (the modulation will be later defined by the Steering Committee of the project.


1. Beyond the more or less 20 first signatories (the core founding group and the consortium of the project), it is expected to gather at least 150 signatories within the time schedule of the project (before 4 to 5 years).

2. Active Special Interest Groups (SIGs) will be created along the lifetime of the project. During the first phase, they will mainly focus on the network organisation and tools development (twinning agreements, staff mobility, knowledge management and dissemination). Then SIGs on EU Water Initiative Topics and on IWRM related matters will be organised after a "running in" period since the highest value of the project is to facilitate staff exchanges for peer-to-peer scaffolding.

3. It is expected that 25 to 30 twinning agreements, based on the recommandations issued by SIGs, will be signed between Basin Organisations during the project, included North-South twinning, as well as West-East, North-North and South-South.

4. The promotion and facilitation of exchanges of personnel between BOs for hands-on training of executives, and the promotion of peer to peer support are key activities of the project: it is expected to partially.


5. The TwinBasin Support Service will have provided the IT infrastructure for allowing exchanges by the end of year 1 : this tool will support the dissemination of information on the project, the running of SIG activities and the knowledge management component of the project.

6. Exchanges opportunities between BO managers or executives and scientists will be developed, during INBO events and at a distance via periodic web seminars.
- The project outputs will include:

• Guides and agreement models for organising beneficial twinning arrangements

• Exchanges on today topics

• Tools for managing knowledge and distance training, etc.

Period [01/01/2004 - 01/01/2008]


  • International Office for Water (IOW)

    - The operational team of the project (TwinBasin Support Service) is made up of the International Office for Water, Global Water Partnership Organisation and Techware.

    - This team is in charge of the daily operating of the network (in particular for allocating and managing mobility scholarships) and its promotion.

    Coordinator acts as project coordinator
    Country France
    Web site
    Contact Mr. Bernard Alain,
    Position: Project Manager
    Phone/fax: 33.(4)., 33.(4).

Funding sources

  • European Commission
    Source EC INCO MED
    Programme INCO MED
    Funding rate 53