This evaluation synthesis covers the period that has elapsed since the last "water screening‚Äù was carried out by IOE in 2002. Its objective was to assess: (i) how IFAD has responded to the emerging issues of rural water security and governance; (ii) whether IFAD's investments in water have met their intended objectives and are sustainable; and (iii) whether it is possible to further enhance the effectiveness and sustainability of IFAD's investments in this sector. In this regard, the synthesis reviews not only the technical, environmental and financial aspects of investments made by IFAD, but also the social and institutional aspects. It also reviews IFAD's policy work at the national, regional and global levels on water-related matters. The synthesis is intended to serve as an opportunity for learning and knowledge sharing rather than as an instrument of accountability.
Overall, IFAD's engagement with the water sector has improved as a result of better performance by synergistic sectors and greater alignment of the different instruments that IFAD deploys to further strategic objectives. With IFAD's comparative advantage in smallholder agriculture, and the need to increase food production and generate rural livelihoods in a context of increasing water scarcity and climate variability, IFAD's engagement in the water sector can only be expected to deepen in the years ahead.