Monday 31st May saw the launch of the next step of the City Blueprint Approach in Africa, a collaboration between UNESCO, KWR and the University of Bath.


Project scope

The project aims to provide municipalities with a tool to assess their water, waste, and climate change challenges, using the City Blueprint Approach developed by KWR Water Research Institute (KWR). For this second phase of the project carried out by UNESCO, KWR and the University of Bath, we will apply the methodology to assess the sustainability of water management in four African cities: Abidjan (Ivory Coast), Lusaka (Zambia), Lagos (Nigeria) and Nairobi (Kenya). The project consists of three assessments: (1) the Trends and Pressures Framework (TPF), (2) the City Blueprint Framework (CBF) and (3) the Governance Capacity Framework (GCF). The baseline assessment will be performed by young professionals, with local professor, students from the MSc Environmental Engineering at the University of Bath, the authors of the methodology from KWR, and UNESCO Field offices and Headquarters. They will collect the data and evaluate the 25 indicators.


Project set up

KWR initially developed the City Blueprint Approach. In cooperation with KWR, UNESCO launched its first phase of the City Blueprint Project in 2019-2020 in six African cities: Abuja, Bangui, Harare, Libreville, Windhoek and Yaoundé, presented at the workshop organised by the WIRC in Kampala in February 2020. Thanks to young professionals who implemented this approach locally, the project’s first phase was very successful in helping cities benchmark and improve their water management. To continuously expand this positive impact and create a city-to-city network between all the stakeholders of the CBF in Africa, UNESCO, WIRC and KWR have decided to perform the second phase of the City Blueprint Project in four other African cities.


Project expectations

This new project will provide us with important insights into the city’s strength and weakness in water, waste, and climate change and that the outcome will serve as the basis for future policymaking. We also expect that the network and synergy created during this project will stimulate further innovative solutions against the cities’ challenges and provide the young professionals with additional professional opportunities. Furthermore, we hope it will offer young professionals the opportunity to increase their experience and knowledge and will play a significant role in urban water management in the future.

In African countries, limited data and information are usually the first and most significant challenge for policymaking and implementation. This project requires the gathering and exploiting of comprehensive data/information regarding water, waste and climate change. Therefore, it can enhance future data availability, and quality as appropriate data and information are essential for policymaking. Next, based on the analysis and outcome, we can start discussing how to improve the current situation in the city water management and involve related stakeholders. The three assessments play an essential role in realizing Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).

The project is a follow-up of the Global Chair appointment of Prof Kees van Leeuwen and part of Watershare.

Prof Jan Hofman, co-director of WIRC, says: “It is privilege and very exciting working with a group of young water professionals from Africa and Bath. We build on the experience from the previous phase by involving last year’s young professionals as mentors. In this way we create a network of next generation water leaders and develop opportunities for city to city learning”.

For more information contact: Jan Hofman (, Stef Koop (, Maud Berthelot (


Posted in: Water, Environment and Infrastructure Resilience, WIRC @ Bath


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