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During the five year period January 2007 – December 2011, SPLASH will:

  • Compile information on European partner water research programmes for poverty reduction
  • Establish tools to enable more efficient sharing of information between researchers, policy makers and practitioners, including databases, reports and workshops
  • Work with developing country partners in identifying priorities for water-related research
  • Develop a strategy and work plan where priority topics for collaboration will be identified and implemented where possible

In line with these, SPLASH is undertaking various activities relating to the following key themes:

  • Coordination of existing research
  • Establishing good research management practice
  • Improving the use of research in policy and practice
  • Designing activities for joint funding

Coordination of Existing Research

As a first step towards improved coordination and to help share knowledge and experiences between different EU partner research initiatives, SPLASH mapped the existing nationally funded programmes in water research in Developing Countries. The survey tool, a survey report and a searchable database of these programmes are now available. Within the database, you can search for an overview of existing programmes by donor, recipient country and the major research themes they address. This survey shows that SPLASH partner countries are supporting research extensively in the Mekong and East African regions. In 2009, SPLASH plans to develop links between existing programmes which will potentially benefit from coordinated effort.

In addition, SPLASH has collated information about international organisations, networks and initiatives in the water sector in a report available here.

Establishing Good Research Management Practice

SPLASH has been looking at the research management process, including programme identification, design, implementation and evaluation. This has shown that few programmes address the development of research management capacity, and most capacity development activities target the individual level. SPLASH is developing guidelines and materials to support EU and Developing Country institutional research management capacity. These will be available during 2009 and through them, we hope to enhance the effectiveness of our programmes.

Improving the Use of Research in Policy & Practice

An important objective of SPLASH is to increase the use of research findings both in practice and in policy development. Successful examples show that research is more likely to be used if relevant stakeholders are involved throughout the research cycle. Guidelines on improved dialogue practices have been developed to support this process and are available here.

Our work has also shown that the uptake of research by decision makers and practitioners depends on effective communication of research findings in the right way and at the right time. In 2008, a SPLASH e-conference considered these linkages, a summary of which is available in either English or French. SPLASH has been able to develop key lessons and actions to consider when designing a research programme to maximise its use by policy makers and practitioners. These lessons inform the design of all future SPLASH activities and collaborative programmes.

Designing Activities for Joint Funding

SPLASH has worked together with development partners to agree a number of thematic research priorities within the sector. During 2009, we will design programmes for joint funding at address these priorities. Progress on these developments will be made available on the SPLASH website.