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Memorandum of Understanding between International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, International Development Association and the Government of the United States of America on Cooperation Relating to Water


March 22, 2011

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This Memorandum of Understanding (“Memorandum”) states the intent by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (“IBRD”) and the International Development Association (“IDA”) (together, the “World Bank”), and the Government of the United States of America (the “Government”) to work together towards the achievement of common objectives and outlines the basis for collaboration between them. The World Bank and the Government are hereinafter collectively referred to as the “Participants”, and individually as a “Participant”.

1. Background

(a) IBRD and IDA are international financial institutions established by Articles of Agreement adopted by their member countries. They pursue their developmental objectives by providing loans, concessional financing, technical assistance, and knowledge-sharing services to their member countries and through partnerships with other entities.

(b) The Participants share the goal of supporting developing countries’ efforts to create a water secure world and to fight water scarcity and poor water quality. To this end, the Participants intend to work collaboratively to promote: (i) proper management of water resources; (ii) reliable and sustainable access to an acceptable quantity and quality of water to meet human, livelihood, ecosystem, and production needs; (iii) reduction of the risks from extreme hydrological events; (iv) rehabilitation of degraded watersheds, (v) improvement of water use efficiency of irrigation practices and technologies; and (vi) adequate water, sanitation and hygiene facilities to prevent disease and to ensure healthy and productive lives. In referring to water, the Participants understand that water generically includes water resource management, water productivity, water supply, water quality, sanitation and health, as well as watershed and coastal management.

(c) Recognizing that they bring different strengths and capacities to the water and sanitation challenges, the Participants hereby endeavor to set forth ways to reinforce their ongoing cooperation and to open new avenues for making their assistance more effective through greater collaboration in this area.

2. Common Objectives

With regard to water and sanitation challenges and the reduction of risks from extreme hydrological events in developing countries, the Participants intend to:

(a) share knowledge with each other, and promote joint analytical work;

(b) work at the country level to understand and complement each other’s programs;

(c) explore opportunities to jointly strengthen mechanisms that can advance global efforts on water, sanitation, hygiene facilities, environmental management, and mitigation of the effect of floods and droughts; and

(d) use common definitions and data, wherever practicable, and work towards harmonizing information at the international level.

3. Forms of Collaboration

(a) The Participants intend to carry out cooperative activities including but not limited to:

(i) sharing knowledge with each other, by:

  • expert meetings, workshops, and/or open training to jointly build technical capacity and strengthen understanding of regional and country plans and strategies;
  • staff exchanges to increase learning and develop greater complementarity in their respective strategic approaches;
  • joint publication of analytical work of common interest; and
  • use of common definitions and sources of data.

(ii) increasing their cooperation at the country level, in concert with country-led donor coordination processes, by:

  • developing a shared understanding of the key water and sanitation challenges;
  • working towards complementarity of projects and programs; and
  • working towards regional and transboundary cooperation and identifying opportunities to leverage each other’s capacities in support of their respective activities.

(iii) strengthening national or regional efforts with a view to advancing global efforts to address water and sanitation challenges in the following areas:

  • development and implementation of national plans and strategies, analytical tools and methods;
  • the maintenance and operation of large, medium and small-scale water infrastructures to maximize benefits while leveraging ecosystem services and protecting the environment;
  • investment in hydrological and meteorological information, including dissemination and application of remote sensing data, land-use and coastal planning for improving water forecasts, water resources management and better predicting long-term needs and resources;
  • mobilization of local capital and public-private partnerships for water infrastructures and development projects;
  • rehabilitation of watersheds and the improvement of irrigation practices and technologies to increase water use efficiency;
  • creation of incentives for the development of new technologies and innovations that can significantly advance or sustain access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, water forecasts, water resources management, and water productivity; and
  • development of common approaches to help countries adapt to climate change in the water sector.


4. Implementation

(a) This Memorandum provides a framework within which the Participants may develop and coordinate collaborative activities. Specific arrangements for individual activities and projects intended to be carried out pursuant to this Memorandum are to be set forth in written work plans to be jointly formulated by the Participants (collectively, the “Program of Work”).

(b) Each Participant is to designate and appoint a representative (“Senior Representative”) with overall responsibility for implementing this Memorandum on its behalf, including responsibility for formulating working groups and activities to be carried out pursuant to it. In carrying out this responsibility, the U.S. Government Senior Representative is to be responsible for providing the consolidated policy views of interested U.S. Government agencies. The Office of the U.S. Executive Director to the World Bank Group is to help facilitate communication between the Participants.

(c) There is to be an annual “High Level Review” of the progress made by both Participants under this Memorandum. The High Level Review is to be conducted by the United States Department of State, the United States Department of the Treasury, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the World Bank. At the first High Level Review, the first Program of Work jointly developed by the Senior Representatives is to be assessed and planned activities confirmed. Thereafter, the Program of Work is to be reevaluated annually at the High Level Review and altered as needed by the Participants. The Participants intend to hold the first annual High Level Review within one year of the signing of this Memorandum.

(d) The Participants anticipate that the Senior Representatives may invite collaborators from other Government agencies, such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Millennium Challenge Corporation, the United States Department of the Interior, and other World Bank Group entities as needed for implementing the Program of Work.

(e) Each Participant is to be responsible for its own costs in implementing the Program of Work, unless otherwise mutually determined therein.

5. Senior Representatives of the Participants:

For the World Bank:
Water Sector Manager
The World Bank
1818 H Street, NW
Washington DC

For the Government:
Head of USAID Water Team
Bureau for Economic Growth, Agriculture and Trade
U.S. Agency for International Development
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 

6. Limits to Intent

 This Memorandum is not legally binding and does not constitute an agreement or commitment by either Participant to enter into or provide support for any specific activity or project. Nothing in this Memorandum should be construed as creating a joint venture, an agency relationship, or a legal partnership between the Participants. Nothing in this Memorandum is intended to be, or should be construed as, a waiver of the privileges and immunities of either Participant or its officers and employees, which privileges and immunities are hereby specifically reserved. This Memorandum is not intended to commit either Participant to the potential or actual commitment of funds.

This Memorandum does not establish any exclusive relationship between the Participants. Neither Participant is restricted in any way from engaging a third party or parties to pursue independently of the other Participant the objectives and activities described in this Memorandum.

7. Intellectual Property

The Participants intend to jointly decide in writing on the ownership of any intellectual property rights that may arise in any work to be created by the collaborative activities to be undertaken pursuant to this Memorandum, at the time of establishing the work plan for such activities.

The Participants intend that publications resulting from collaborative activities are to acknowledge the collaboration between the Participants.

8. Names, Marks, Acronyms and Logos

The Participants acknowledge that their respective names, marks, acronyms and logos, and any variation thereof, are the sole and exclusive properties of their owner. Any and all uses by one Participant of the other Participant’s name is to inure solely to the benefit of the other Participant. No Participant may acquire any right, title or interest in the other Participant’s name, marks, acronyms or logos, or any variation thereof, under this Memorandum. A Participant should not use the other Participant’s name, marks, acronyms or logos in any material or content for public dissemination arising out of the collaborative activities to be carried out pursuant to this Memorandum without the written consent of that Participant.

9. Disclosure and Publicity

The Participants intend to make this Memorandum available to the public. Any sharing of information between the Participants is to be subject to their respective policies and procedures relating to the disclosure of information.

10. Conflict of Interest

The World Bank’s collaboration with the Government or its agencies, on activities under this Memorandum, is not intended to confer a special advantage or preference to the Government or its agencies in competing with any other entity as regards the procurement of goods, works or services by the World Bank or third parties, where such procurement results from or has a direct relationship to such activities. Similarly, the Government’s collaboration with the World Bank is not intended to confer a special advantage or preference to the World Bank.

11. Difference in Interpretation

In the case of a difference of opinion or interpretation between the Participants arising out of or relating to this Memorandum or a work plan commenced pursuant thereto, the Participants intend to work towards an amicable resolution in good faith through consultation and negotiation.

12. Effectiveness, Modification, Discontinuation

This Memorandum is intended to become effective upon signature by both Participants and may be modified or discontinued at any time by mutual written determination of the Participants. Further, either Participant may discontinue this Memorandum, at its sole discretion, and should endeavor to provide 60 days’ prior notice in writing to the other Participant.



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