Partner Projects

Water Focus

A nexus approach to finding water sustainability: This is a joint project of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) carried out in North East and North Africa (NENA) region, to develop analytical framework on Water-Food-Energy-Climate-Ecosystem nexus.

African Union Development Agency (AUDA) -The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Networks of Water Centres of Excellence: The network of NEPAD Water Centres of Excellence (NEPAD Water CoE) is a network of Higher Education- and Research institutions that conducts high-end scientific research on water and related sectors, in order to provide policy guidelines to governments.

Enhancing Groundwater Simulation in the Impact-Water Model: This study develops a spatially explicit groundwater balance module, including groundwater storage dynamics in shallow and deep aquifers and recharge and discharge processes taking place in shallow aquifers, using existing hydrological and hydrogeological information for major aquifers around the world.

NEXOGENESIS (Facilitating the next generation of effective and intelligent water-related policies utilizing artificial intelligence and reinforcement learning to assess the water-energy-food-ecosystem (WEFE) nexus: NEXOGENESIS will develop and validate: (a) a coherent cross-sectoral policy-making framework at different scales addressing climate and socio-economic change, as well as stakeholder behavior and transboundary (diplomacy) issues; (b) a Self-Learning Nexus Assessment Engine (SLNAE) exploiting reinforcement learning, and supporting streamlining water-related policies into the WEFE nexus; and (c) a WEFE Nexus Footprint, accompanying the SLNAE. The NEXOGENESIS framework will use an integrated methodological approach, developed for and validated by stakeholders, policy makers, and academics. NEXOGENESIS will apply its approach to four European (CS#1: Nestos River, EL-BG; CS#2: Lielupe River Basin, LT-LV; CS#3: Lower Danube River Basin, RO-SRB-BG; CS#4: Adige River, IT) and one international case study (CS#5: Inkomati-Usuthu Water Management Area, RSA-SZ-MZ). NEXOGENESIS results and outcomes, during and after the project, will have a major impact on advancing nexus understanding and governance in the case studies and beyond, resulting in a more innovative and competitive European Union regarding nexus policy-making, backed up by state-of-the-art evidence. NEXOGENESIS will continue to drive the project forward after the end of the funding period, through dedicated out scaling objectives in order to maximize future impacts and will bring project results to extended group of users via an innovative stakeholder engagement process.

The uMngeni Resilience Project- Building resilience in the Greater uMngeni Catchment, South Africa: This project aims to increase resilience of vulnerable communities through interventions such as early warning systems, climate-smart agriculture and climate proofing settlements.

Energy Focus

Agrophotovoltaics for Mali and The Gambia: Sustainable Electricity Production by Integrated Food, Energy and Water Systems (APV-MaGa): APV-MaGa project aims at establishing Agrophotovoltaics as a sustainable energy system that provides food, water and electricity to the local population while increasing resilience of the agriculture sector against climate change.

Ethiopian Energy Development Strategy: This project aims to provide evidence-based policy recommendations for optimal use of the country’s energy resources to improve electricity access, promote energy security and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions to contribute to mitigating climate change. It contributes to the design of policies and strategies that minimize investment risk for scaling up clean technologies for power generation in Ethiopia.

Powering Africa: Unlocking Opportunities for Integrated Water and Energy Development: This project aims to provide ways for implementing access to and generation of electrical power on multiple scales with the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Researchers back to the secondary school – Renewable energy powered water-food-economy nexus for the sustainable livelihood at Dosso Region in Niger (RETO-DOSSO): RETO-DOSSO project aims at demonstrating that a solar system not only improves water, electricity and food supply, but also strengthens the rural economy and is a worthwhile business model for local investors.

Sustainable Energy Transition and Digitalization of Smart Mini-Grids for Africa (SETaDiSMA): The objective of this project is to develop a comprehensive analysis of mini-grids in African rural areas to provide a renewable energy smart-grid concept supporting the local context development in Africa.

Food Focus

Advancing Research on Nutrition and Agriculture (ARENA): The objective of ARENA is to close important knowledge gaps on the links between nutrition and agriculture, with a particular focus on conducting policy-relevant research at scale and crowding in more research on this issue by creating data sets and analytical tools that can benefit the broader research community.

Africa Research in Sustainable Intensification for the Nexus Generation (Africa Rising): Africa Rising offers demand-driven, locally tailored, and resource-saving agricultural innovations for sustainable intensification to improve household welfare and at the same time enhance sustainability. The program works at the scale of smallholder farm household and, as necessary, at the landscape level.

Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Small Scale Irrigation (ILSSI): ILSSI is a five-year project that aims to benefit farmers of Ethiopia, Ghana and Tanzania by improving effective use of scarce water supplies through interventions in small-scale irrigation. It is a part of the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future Initiative.

International Nitrogen Management System(INMS): It is a project website addressing the WAGES challenge (Water quality, air quality, greenhouse gas balance, ecosystem services, and soil quality).

LEG4DEV, Legume-based agroecological intensification of maize and cassava cropping systems in Sub-Saharan Africa for water-food-energy nexus sustainability, nutritional security & livelihood resilience: LEG4DEV project will test, adapt and improve a portfolio of innovations for diversifying maize or cassava dominated cropping systems by legume-based agroecological intensification, and enable results of legume-based participatory research can be more readily adopted by farmers and enterprises, and scaled out for impacts on livelihoods and resilience.

Long-term EU-AU Research and Innovation Partnership for Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture (Leap4FNSSA): Leap4FNSSA is a Coordination and Support Action (CSA) whose main objective is to provide a tool for European and African institutions to engage in a Sustainable Partnership Platform for research and innovation on FNSSA.

Research for development (R4D): R4D emphasis in partnerships for delivery, capacity building for students (particularly MSc and PhD students) and early career scientists like post-doctoral fellows.

Sofala Province Water, Energy, and Food Security Project (SWEF): SWEF is a four-year (1 August 2020 – 31 July 2024) initiative funded by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) which aims to improve food, nutrition, income, and livelihood outcomes of smallholder farmers through two outputs: (a) smallholder crop and livestock productivity and access to markets equitably improved; and (b) access to clean energy alternatives, safe water, and sanitation facilities for rural families improved.

Sustainable and Healthy Food Systems (SHEFS): The primary purpose of SHEFS is to provide new, interdisciplinary research that policymakers can use to shape food systems that will deliver healthy, accessible, affordable and sustainable food for future populations.

Technologies for African Agriculture Transformation (TAAT): TAAT supports Feed Africa by providing the needed, proven agricultural and food processing technologies and implementation strategies for inclusion within the Bank’s loans to Regional Member Countries (RMCs).

Transforming African Agricultural Universities to meaningfully contribute to Africa’s growth and development (TAGDEV): TAGDEV aims to transform African agricultural universities and their graduates to better respond to developmental challenges through enhanced application of science, technology, business and innovation for rural agricultural transformation.

Climate Focus

Assessment of the Roles of Irrigation for Climate Change Adaptation in Africa: Several studies have moved this topic forward, but much of this work has yet to be implemented. International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) is currently looking into various funding opportunities for this work. The analysis will use multi data analyses, modeling tools as well as qualitative tools to assess the role of irrigation in CSA in Africa south of the Sahara. Many of the supporting tools have already been developed and are listed in the set of outputs.

Strengthening Universities Capacities for Mitigating Climate Change Induced Water Vulnerabilities in East Africa (WATERCAP): The purpose of WATERCAP project is to mainstream climate change and involve universities in climate change adaptation in Africa. This project has continued to provide opportunities and new strategies through its networking approach to secure technologies for leveraging smallholder farmers to improve their resilience.

Using Water-Energy-Food Security Nexus to Promote Climate Resilient Decisions and Model Actions in Selected Landscapes along Akagera Basin: The goal of this project is to provide evidence-based policy guidance and promote local actions that promote climate resilience and participatory sustainable development along the Akagera Watershed in Rwanda.

West Africa Science Service Center on Climate Change (WASCAL): WASCAL is a large-scale research-focused Climate Service Centre designed to help tackle this challenge and thereby enhance the resilience of human and environmental systems to climate change and increased variability. It does so by strengthening the research infrastructure and capacity in West Africa related to climate change and by pooling the expertise of ten West African countries and Germany.

Model and Tool Focus

A Water-Energy-Food Nexus Toolkit (WEF-Tools) to support sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development in water scarce region: WEF-Tools supports the sustainable socio-economic development in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regions by applying in five case studies an approach that starts from conceptual mapping of the Water-Energy-Food nexus system to the development of quantitative tools such as the System Dynamics Models (SDMs), and the identification and computation of indicators for the assessment of different scenarios and management strategies, subsequently providing decision-makers with feasible development pathway options.

EU Nexus Cluster; SIM4Nexus: SIM4Nexus aims to predict society-wide impacts of resource use and relevant policies on sectors such as agriculture, water, biodiversity and ecosystem services through a model-based analysis.

Long-range Energy Alternatives Planning system (LEAP): LEAP is a powerful, versatile software system for integrated energy planning and climate change mitigation assessment.

Water Evaluation and Planning tool (WEAP): WEAP is a software tool for integrated water resources planning. It provides a comprehensive, flexible and user-friendly framework for policy analysis.

WEF Nexus Index Tool: This is a country-level composite indicator developed using the water-energy-food (WEF) nexus as its guiding framework.

Education Focus

Alliance for African Partnership (AAP): AAP seeks to promote sustainable, effective, and equitable long-term partnerships among African institutions, Michigan State University, and other international collaborators. The AAP strives to build networks across all sectors (universities, NGOs, government, and private sector) to engage with development challenges that fall within our thematic areas

Empowering Novel Agri-Business Led-Employment (ENABLE-Youth): The goal of ENABLE-Youth is to expand opportunities in agriculture and agribusiness to youth as a means to advance rural livelihoods and economic development across Africa.

LandscapeU: Penn State’s NRT-INFEWS entitled LandscapeU focuses on “transdisciplinary learning outcomes” in the Chesapeake Bay.

Masters in Energy- Engineering track, Policy track: Pan African University Institute of Water and Energy Sciences (PAUWES) offers masters in energy program with specialization in engineering and policy track.

Masters in Water- Engineering Track, Policy track: Pan African University Institute of Water and Energy Sciences (PAUWES) offers masters in water program with specialization in engineering and policy track.

Partnership for Delivery (P4D): P4D intends to help strengthen IITA’s capacity on the science of scaling and delivery within the Institute.

Penn State strategic plan: Penn State has made a commitment to being a leader in creating comprehensive solutions to mitigate the impacts of climate change and address the challenges of providing safe and abundant water, clean and renewable energy sources, and plentiful and nutritious food.

PERIPERI U: The Online Resource Centre is a repository of information primarily related to Disaster Risk Reduction in the African continent. It is expanding to also include related documentation on Integrated Water Resource Management.

PhD (12) and Master Programmes: West Africa Science Service Center on Climate Change (WASCAL) seeks to become one of Africa’s leading science-based institutions in the provision of climate services in and for West Africa.

The Pan African Cooperation and Educational Technologies (PACET): PACET aims to strengthen research, educational and institutional capacities of UNU-EHS in Africa. The program fosters cooperation between UNU and African institutions in higher education, research, policy and practice to develop innovative methods and appropriated solutions to address challenges particularly in the frame of the Agenda 2063 of the African Union and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development (PAEPARD): PAEPARD’s objective is to facilitate multi-actor Africa-Europe partnerships in the field of agricultural Research for Development (R4D) in order to contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which have since September 2015 became the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Water and Energy Security for Africa( WESA): WESA aims to support the development of PAUWES by supporting young scientists and enhancing research activities in water and energy sciences. It focuses on the development of innovative scientific research methods that can be adapted to local contexts and are applicable in the areas of water and energy security in Africa. This initiative is the first step towards the realization of a research agenda at PAUWES, and offers graduates the opportunity to conduct PhD studies.

Water Science Network (WSN): WSN network is an effort to link the many water-related research and programs across Michigan State University’s (MSU) campus. The Network’s goal is to build rapid synergies and working relationships among faculty, facilitate joint research grants, and promote MSU as a center of excellence in water.

Youth and young leaders programs: Waterlution innovates dynamic, topical and creative methods and opportunities to facilitate young leaders with the fundamental 21st century skills needed to move forward, as employable individuals ready to face the demands of the future.


Risk Assessment and Reduction Strategies for Sustainable Urban Resource Supply in Sub-Saharan Africa” (RARSUS) In Niger and Mali: RARSUS aims at establishing collaborative research addressing the adaptation of resources (water, energy and food) supply exposed to different risks including resource depletion and unsustainable use, weak governance and climate risks, in urban and semi-urban regions in Niger.

The Nexus Regional Dialogues Programme Phase II: The Nexus Regional Dialogues Programme Phase II (2020-2023), funded by the EU and BMZ, aims to mainstream WEF Nexus approaches through increased investor awareness, capacity building, concrete projects and expansion of knowledge management. It builds on Phase I (2016-2020) of the project, during which the five Nexus Regional Dialogues (NRD) developed policy recommendations endorsed by high-level policy makers at regional and national level.


Trade sustainable for people and the planet: This project focuses on ecosystem services; and other aspects related to water and food.