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The purpose of the programming stage is to assess whether, and what form, development co- operation should be considered. Programming analyses current needs and policies in a country or region, and identifies opportunities for EC support. As water is fundamental to social and economic development, this chapter sets out to decide on priority Focus Areas for support in order to achieve an integrated approach to water resources management.

The programming phase provides an opportunity to review all national, regional and local factors relating to water, and the policy and operational context for water-related development co-operation.

During this phase, priorities will be identified for potential water-related activities within the wider context of national development objectives, indicating which Focus Area(s) are most in need of support.

At the programming phase, a truly integrated approach which balances needs and possibilities within an overall water resources management framework is practicable and easy to apply. However, an integrated approach requires a wide range of information collection and analysis. A standard format for a country study is given in Part III, Chapter 15, which can be used together with the checklists given below.


The essential questions for the programming phase are:

  • Is EC development co-operation needed for water resources?
  • In which Focus Area(s) and by what kinds of support would development co-operation be most beneficial?

Checklists have been developed to correspond to the following four steps in the programming process:

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