SDC Backstopping Mandate for Water


The Backstopping Mandate in Water and Sanitation provides professional services in support of SDC’s Water Initiatives division (WIs) in the area of Water for People and IWRM needed to further the agency’s drive to promote the realization of the MDGs and the sustainable development of the sector beyond 2015.

Project Facts


Switzerland and various abroad

Project Period:

2015 – 2017

Former phases: 2012-2014 (Phase 7), 2011 (Phase 6), 2008-2010 (Phase 5), 2005-2007 (Phase 4), 2002-2004 (Phase 3), 1999-2001 (Phase 2), 1996-1998 (Phase 1)

Name of Partner Organisation(s):

HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation (HSI)

Name of Staff involved and functions performed:

Mandate leader: Roger Schmid

Coordinators: Florian Klingel, André Olschewski, Anne Sophie Aublet, Bertha Camacho, Chris Morger / Sophie Nguen (HSI)

Ressource persons: Bertha Camacho, Sanjay Gupta, Sean Furey, Matthias Saladin, Kerstin Danert, Hedi Feibel, Stephanie Theis, Martin läng, Laura Neuweiler, Norolalao Robson – Agnès Montangero / Lucien Blaser (HSI)


The SDC aims to remain an innovative and leading actor in the water sector and contribute to solving water challenges in its focus countries and at the global level. The endeavours of its Global Programme Water (GPW) are tackling the key global challenges related to the management of water resources, including access to drinking water and sanitation, and the productive use of water in agriculture, industry and households. They contribute to the reduction of global risks and the realization of a water-secure world.

The GPW takes stock of the hands-on experience of SDC’s bi- and multilateral work to enrich its global policy influence in the water sector, whilst deploying its own global actions. It runs about 45 operational programmes, projects and initiatives: with its 14 specialists, it acts as a centre of competence and maintains partnerships with academia, the public and private sector, civil society organizations and a thematic network with 210 members. Jointly they aim at Switzerland to continue being influential in advancing a global institutional architecture to meet the political ambition of the 2030 Agenda in the sector.

Description of the Mandate

The Backstopping Mandate for Water aims at strengthening and complementing the GPW’s internal core competencies and capacities: it reinforces the Programme team in the delivery of its portfolio of actions. The underlying assumption is that the strategic competencies for those endeavours are primarily present within the GPW and that the backstopper supports it in expanding and advancing its capacities to augment its potential and pertinence.

The working modalities encompass:

  1. Engaging in political/policy influencing and institution building within the water sector;
  2. Promoting innovation in concepts and approaches that tackle global water challenges and risks;
  3. Building partnerships for additional funding and influence leading to large-scale improvements;
  4. Fostering strategic and action-oriented water knowledge management.

The main tasks of the mandate are to:

  • Analyse, capitalize, document and disseminate the sector experiences of the SDC and its partners, but also of the sector in general, to make them available to SDC’s programs and partner countries;
  • Promote knowledge exchange and networking in Switzerland, in SDC’s intervention countries and internationally, whilst contributing to SDC’s RésEAU and AGUASAN practices;
  • Provide expert advisory services on projects, new concepts, approaches and trends in the sector;
  • Provide technical support services on demand at large on all GPW activities/themes;
  • Organize, participate in and ensure the follow-up of specific sector meetings / events at national / international level, and GPW internal meetings (operational/strategic planning).

The mandate is fully client-oriented and essentially demand-driven. The GPW defines the framework and rules (expected results, resources, inputs and monitoring) of the backstopping whilst ensuring the steering of the mandate. The main activities of the mandate are planned jointly based on the GPW’s annual program and its mid-term review; others are taken up at short notice upon demand.