Given the complex and rapidly emerging needs for cooperative management of the Nile Basin water resources, and as the anticipated permanent institutional arrangements emerge; it is highly desirable to create mechanisms that aim to achieve unity of purpose and action across the Nile Basin. With this background in mind, the NELSAP ISP objective is to establish a strong NELSAP institutional framework within a broader NBI institutional architecture in order to facilitate, support and strengthen the identification, preparation and implementation processes of cooperative and consultative Nile projects for the benefit of all riparian countries.

The NELSAP CU has also created synergies with regional initiatives like the LVBC and power programs like the Eastern African Power Pool, Communauté Economique pour les Grands Lacs (CEPGL) etc. Strategic planning meetings with the LVBC have resulted in agreement to jointly promote investments from the strategies developed by the three river basin management projects of Mara, Kagera and Sio-Malaba-Malakisi, focusing on improved storage, investments in water infrastructure for irrigation development.

Within the NBI ISP, however a study on institutional design will look at mechanisms for Regional Collaboration and Synergy to address the linkages of the NBI and sub basin organizations like the LVBC  as well as define mechanisms for coordination with other regional programs. The study which commenced in January 2010, will examine the range of Nile Basin transboundary bodies and institutional arrangements relevant to NBI, and propose strategies to achieve synergy through rationalizing roles, responsibilities, relationships and collaboration in ways that recognize a diversity of institutional arrangements whilst achieving the Nile Basin Vision and maintaining the goals of a ‘one basin’ approach to development of the shared water resources.

Over the last six years, the NELSAP CU has strengthened its capacity in strategic analysis, environmental aspects, social development, and development communication as well as results based monitoring and evaluation through recruitment of additional staff. The NELSAP CU has also strengthened the financial and procurement management capacity in order to deliver effectively. Information management and financial management systems have been installed across all the projects thus enhancing their operations and improving the quality of the financial planning and fiduciary reporting. Operational strategies in the areas of communication and gender mainstreaming are in placed and the NELSAP CU has started the process of mainstreaming them into programs and projects.

A preliminary Environmental and Social Management framework has been prepared as well to guide the projects in ensuring adherence to Environmental and Social Safeguards. An anti corruption strategy as well as a 5 year strategy and business case (2010-2015) will be prepared this year.