International Waters learning Exchange & Resource Network

4.11 - TDA/SAP Management

GEF IW guidance on TDA and SAP has been prepared by GEF IW:LEARN and is available here. GEF IW project experience on the management of the TDA/SAP process can be found here with examples of ToRs used by IW projects here.

Experiences with the TDA-SAP Process in the Caribbean Sea LME

Patrick Debels, Chief Technical Advisor of the UNDP-GEF Caribbean Large Marine Ecosystem project, describes how his project’s experiences with the GEF Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA) and Strategic Action Program (SAP) Process.

Developing and then implementing a Strategic Action Programme (SAP) is an objective of many GEF IW Projects. The SAP is a key document that, once endorsed by national governments, can lead to real transformational change of water/environment governance and, through implementation of practical actions (e.g. wastewater treatment construction, wetland restoration, enforcement of regulations on fishing fleets, etc.), can lead to reduction of environmental stress (Stress Reduction). The SAP is therefore an important stage, but not the ultimate goal of GEF interventions, to improve ecosystem status through its implementation.

The management of the SAP process is a challenge. Integral to the SAP is the Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA) that provides the technical basis (assessment of threats, root causes, environmental and socio-economic status, etc.) for the prioritisation of the management actions (or measures) to address transboundary (and shared) problems.

In many GEF IW projects developing SAPs too much time and resources are expended on the technical TDA components leaving insufficient time/resources for the politically demanding SAP development and the endorsement that will lead to implementation. Therefore the challenge for the project management team is the need for strong co-ordination and management of the overall process to ensure that the expected TDA and the final SAP are prepared as expected in the ProDoc.

Key issues for project management with the TDA and SAP are included in the TDA/SAP Manual on IW:LEARN. These steps include:

  • Planning the TDA/SAP
  • Recruiting a Technical Task Team (Example ToRs are included in Part 4 of this manual)
  • Organising and managing workshops on causal chain analysis (CCA) and prioritisation of transboundary problems
  • Developing the SAP
  • SAP endorsement
  • SAP implementation