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Launch of UNWAIS

23.12.2010 - The UN-Water Activity Information System (UN-WAIS) provides a "common point of entry" for UN-Water members, partners and associated programmes activities on transboundary waters. It allows them to keep abreast of what their sister agencies are doing, but may also be used by countries, donors, academia, international and non-governmental organizations and other interested members of the public.

Currently, the UNWAIS contains information on UN-Water members' and partners' activities regarding transboundary waters. It is expected that activities in other fields related to water will be added as a result of mapping exercises carried out by other UN-Water Task Forces and Thematic Priority Areas.

The UNWAIS has several features to allow users to explore the data available in the system:
  • The Advanced Search function enables users to search for activities which share common specified characteristics or combinations thereof.
  • The Geographic Search allows users to find activities based on a specified region, river basin or country.
  • The Charts and Diagrams function allows users to create customized charts that plot the specified activities, providing a format that can be more easily analyzed.

The system also contains the contact details of all UN-Water Thematic Priority Area on Transboundary Waters focal points as well as a list of other repositories and databases from UN-Water members and partners.

Background:

In 2009-2010, several UN-Water Task Forces and Thematic Priority Areas started mapping exercises, among them the UN-Water Thematic Priority Area (TPA) on transboundary waters, in order to get a clear and comprehensive picture of current UN-Water activities and as a first step to promote further coordination, especially in specific projects in the field.
Since one of the core functions of the UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development (UNW-DPC) is observation (mapping, needs assessment and gaps analysis), they were requested to implement these mapping exercises and create an online system with the information collected.

In line with UNW-DPC's Work Plan, financially supported by UN-Water TPA's and in cooperation with other UN-Water Task Forces, a UNW-AIS development team of three IT technicians and two conceptual planners at UNW-DPC, in collaboration with the TPA on Transboundary Waters and the TPA coordinators at UNECE and UNESCO as well as the UN-Water Communications Manager, have been developing and continuously improving the system since 2009.