Facilitate collaboration on local water management in Mozambique

How do we make use of the water resources of the Zambezi valley taking sustainability into account? This is the key question of a project of the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in collaboration with the Agency for the Zambezi Valley and eight institutes for higher education in Mozambique. The project, sponsored by Nuffic, aims to increase the (educational) capacity around integral water management in the Zambezi valley. The TU Delft consciously chooses not to fly in experts, but rather to tackle the issue from the bottom-up with directly involved local stakeholders. Perspectivity was asked to facilitate this.
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Delft University of Techology, Agency for Zambezi Valley, eight institutes for higher education in Mozambique.


Can you design and facilitate a bottom-up process with local stakeholders to strengthen integrated water management in the Zambezi valley in Mozambique?


Future Search conference and narrative research (Sprockler).



  • insights in what is happening in water management in the Zambezi valley
  • specific and widely supported actions for integrated water management by local stakeholders
  • strengthened collaboration between different stakeholders

Future Search conference

In May 2017, Perspectivity facilitated a three-day Future Search conference with seventy stakeholders, coming from industry and mining, government, agriculture, fisheries, tourism, education and research, gender groups, local communities, water suppliers and development cooperation partners. The interests of these stakeholders vary widely, causing different groups to fight over the same water sources. Next to this, the Zambezi valley also suffers from floods and droughts. During the conference, participants explored the past and the present together and formulated widely supported ambitions for the future.

Narrative research

To be able to involve even more perspectives and be able to monitor the progress of the project, we set up a narrative research using Sprockler. To this end, we trained participants from the educational institutes involved, who then went on to collect stories from the different stakeholders in their region and collectively interpreted the results. The research was repeated at the mid-term mark of the project and at the end to be able to measure changes.


These two collective forms of sense-making led to a few concrete actions for the educational institutes participating in the project. These were actions deemed important by the whole stakeholder field and the participating institutes and aim to enable the ideal future that was envisioned together. These actions do not solely involve technical matters but also include new ways of collaborating. When it comes to sustainability, for example, it turns out that the results of research projects often evaporate if they have no connection with the local community. This, therefore, became a new requirement for all research projects in the programme. Because negative experiences with local authorities were shared, a project was started with short courses on integrated water management for local officials.

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