The UNESCO Chair in Water Economics and Transboundary Water Governance was officially launched by the Hon. Bob McMullan, the Australian Parliamentary Secretary for International Development on 15 April 2010. This four-year program (renewable) links the following institutions and programs in research, training and capacity building and knowledge transfer partnership in Southern Africa.
- Global Water Forum – A website established in 2010 as an initiative of the UNESCO Chair in Water Economics and Transboundary Water Governance to present knowledge and insight from leading water researchers and practitioners. The contributions provide evidence-based, accessible, and freely available articles looking at local, regional, and global water challenges.
- The Australian National University,
- UNESCO's International Hydrological Programme (IHP) and Institute for Water Education (IHE),
- International Center for Water Economics and Governance in Africa (IWEGA) at University of Eduardo Mondlane,
- The International Water Management Institute,
- The Global Water Partnership,
- The Global Development Learning Network,
The UNESCO Chair in Water Economics and Transboundary Water Governance creates a pole of excellence in water economics and governance in Africa and China to meet the Millennium Development Goals (goals 3 and 7)
and to provide socio-economic expertise in;
- Water Education Training with capacity building and knowledge transfer in water economics and water governance,
- 'Water and Society' with a development focus on understanding the value of water and trade-offs across water users and between water use and the environment with a special focus on gender equity.
To achieve its goals to promote sustainable development and better water management, the project has the following major strands:
- Local flexible-learning courses in water economics and transboundary water governance that build issues of gender equity into the course structures. This work is particularly targeted to countries in Southern Africa.
- Creating student exchange and enrichment programs.
- Supporting web-based learning modules from the Global Water Partnership and International Water Management Institute and delivered through the Global Water Forum.
- Creating interactive, flexible learning modules in water economics, water governance and gender equity in integrated water resource management in collaboration with the Global Development Learning Network housed by the World Bank Institute