Australian Partners

Oxfam Australia

Oxfam Australia is a humanitarian, development and advocacy organisation affiliated to the Oxfam Confederation of 20 organisations operating in over 90 countries. This includes engagement in water-related industries: developing effective policies and practices in access to potable water and sanitation, multiple water usages (small-scale irrigation, energy generation and catchment management), disaster risk management and management of water resources including water, fisheries and wetlands at the community, national and international levels.
Oxfam Australia has over 20 years of experience working in the Mekong Basin to promote improved governance:
The program supports a network of local and regional civil society organizations based in Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand supporting riverine communities to play an active role in shaping the policies and practices that impact on their lives and those of other riparian communities. The program builds upon Oxfam’s experience in the region promoting community access to water and forest resources including fisheries at the community and policy levels and builds also upon Australia’s experience in multi-stakeholder and trans-boundary governance of water resources. Oxfam has particular experience and expertise in ensuring the inclusion of multiple stakeholders and marginalised groups in water policy dialogue and processes including indigenous people, women and remote communities within the framework of national and international standards and practices. A similar program is being implemented in S Asia.

  • 1. The Mekong Regional Water Governance Program: Inclusion Project
    The Inclusion Project (2015-2019) contributes to the Australia’s Greater Mekong Water Resources Program by supporting civil society input into water planning and decision-making, focussing on increasing civil society participation and engagement in water resource governance, with a focus on women and marginalised groups. The project supports communities and civil society organisations to engage in formal and informal policy and decision making processes at the sub-national, national and regional levels. Particular emphasis is placed on supporting the development of and active engagement of women leaders in these processes.
  • 2. Gender Impact Assessment in Hydro-power development project
    This project promotes more socially inclusive and equitable development of hydro-power. The manual has been introduced to various hydro-power developers, regulators (government), consultancy groups and is currently been piloted in Laos and Vietnam. The process to develop and now utilise the manual has been participatory and inclusive with the intention of ensuring appropriate policy and practice. An app for use in both the hydropower and mining sectors is being developed.
  • 3. The Food and Nutritional Security Impact of Mekong Dams – Research and Capacity Building project.
    Oxfam supported the Fisheries Administration of Cambodia to undertake research through the Inland Fisheries Research and development Institution to inform Cambodia’s national position of main stream hydro-power dam development. Importantly, the research has included the convening of multiple stakeholders to support the process including donors such as DANIDA, UN Agencies (UNICEF), environmental organisations such as WWF, technical organisation such as World Fish, development organisations such as Oxfam and private consultants. A further research project on the potential impacts of water infrastructure development on fish spawning in Cambodia was conducted. Significant in both studies has been Oxfam’s influence with the partner to include gender and ensure feedback to affected communities by supporting the government partner to issue accessible (language and science) policy briefs and infographics.
  • Trans-boundary Rivers of South Asia (TROSA) Project
    TROSA is a five-year project aimed at reducing poverty and marginalisation of vulnerable river communities through increased access to, and control over, the water resources on which their livelihoods depend. The project is funded by the Government of Sweden and focuses on three transboundary river basins – the Ganges, the Brahmaputra-Meghna and the Salween. The project is managed by Oxfam and implemented with national and regional civil society partners in Nepal, Bangladesh, India and Myanmar. The project is jointly managed under the Asia Water Governance program allowing sharing of resources (such as advisory roles) and experiences.
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