International Waters learning Exchange & Resource Network

GEF IW:LEARN Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis-Strategic Action Programme Course

The overall goal of the TDA/SAP online course is to provide a very brief summary of the key steps recommended in the Manual to enable all those involved in the development of the TDA/SAP (project staff, consultants, national experts, civil society, private sector, government representatives, etc.) to have an awareness of the process.

The course is available at:


Implementing changes to reduce pressures on shared and transboundary water bodies requires the development of a scientifically robust and detailed analysis (the TDA) of the ecosystem and socio-economic conditions in the basin. This joint analysis will form the basis for developing a regionally agreed action plan (the SAP) that will address the transboundary problems identified in the TDA. This approach (a TDA/SAP) has formed a core approach within the GEF International Waters focal area and has been applied in over 35 shared and transboundary water bodies (rivers, lakes, groundwater and Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs).

About this course

Effective basin management (rivers, lakes, groundwater and LMEs) requires a detailed and formally agreed management plan. The technical expertise to develop such a plan exists in all basins in the form of government bodies, academics, NGOs, private sector organisations (including farmers and fishers) and the communities who rely on the ecosystem services provided by the water body for their livelihoods and lives. The GEF TDA/SAP approach helps to utilise these skills in countries and to jointly agree the problems and their potential solutions through collective working and using the experiences from previous basins that have adopted the TDA/SAP approach.

The course is based on the third edition of the GEF IW:LEARN TDA/SAP Manual that provides the collective experiences from previous TDA/SAPs supplemented by inputs from consultants who helped develop the manual and have participated in multiple TDA and SAP projects.

The course will highlight the main steps in developing a TDA and SAP and should be used in conjunction and with frequent reference to the GEF IW:LEARN TDA/SAP Manual. The course is intended for all GEF International Waters project teams who will be involved in the development of the TDA and SAP to ensure there is a common understanding of the steps, terminology and where additional information can be found.

Course structure and methodology

The course is structured by modules. In each module participants will have access to a valuable set of materials including readings, videos, and suggested web sites. This is a self-paced course, participants are invited to cover contents in their own timing.

How will it be delivered?

The course contents and materials are open to all interested persons at no cost. Every three months, Cap-Net will refresh the course to allow space for new participants to benefit from the material. To access the course contents you need to be registered in Cap-Net´s Virtual Campus.

Do you have questions?

Should you have any questions about the course or materials, please contact Natalie Degger ( 

NOTE: The GEF IW:LEARN TDA/SAP course will not make ‘a TDA/SAP expert’ but it will assist in guiding national basin experts to develop a TDA and formulate a regional endorsed SAP.