This report describes the inception phase activities carried out between July 2000 and March 2001 for the collaborative Indo-South African-UK research project ‘Water, Households and Rural Livelihoods’ (WHIRL) [the new longer name for Project R7804]. This project aims to develop and promote improved and more integrated approaches to address water supply and management problems in areas of water scarcity through collaborative research between partners and development projects in India and South Africa. The project will research innovative institutional and operational strategies that bridge the existing gap between water supply, water resources management at an appropriate scale (e.g. watershed or catchment) and efforts to improve livelihoods of poor people through improved water supply and associated activities.
During the inception phase, tasks have included the development and modification of the project design with stakeholders and collaborators, development of partnerships to undertake fieldwork with appropriate development projects and planning with project partners. Activities have included consultations and visits in India and South Africa to identify demand and prioritise research issues, an inception workshop bringing together participants from both countries, and consultations in Kenya and Tanzania to identify some of the issues associated with uptake of the research findings elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa.