January 1, 2009
None of the water-related global megaconferences has ever been evaluated independently, objectively and comprehensively. Their impacts and cost-effectiveness are now basically unknown, even though their costs have generally escalated very rapidly with each succeeding event. It should, however, be noted that very few megaconferences on any field have ever been objectively assessed in terms of its results and medium- to long-term impacts. Thus, water megaconferences are not an exception: it is simply part of an overall problem in this area. In order to fill this gap, the Third World Centre for Water Management, with the support of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation of the United States conducted a global analysis on the perceived outputs and impacts of such events on the water sector, as well as their strengths, weaknesses and lessons learnt. The events specifically considered for this evaluation were Mar del Plata, Dublin, Rio and Johannesburg Conferences, Bonn Freshwater Conference and the first three World Water Forums.