Mexico: CONAGUA to institutionalize investment prioritization system developed with 2030 WRG

Mexico Country Progress Report

Conagua 2030 WRG meeting

In Mexico, the 2030 WRG has worked for several months alongside the different technical units of CONAGUA, and under the coordination of the Deputy Director of Planning, to strengthen its capital investment prioritization system. This system will help prioritise CONAGUAs annual investments included in its overall national project portfolio, and contains projects for the water supply and sanitation, the agri-water and the risk management sectors.  The initiative has involved analytical work, participatory workshops, technical meetings, and high-level dialogue.

The system developed comprises four different stages. The first stage (Projects Conceptualization) is oriented at identifying specific regional and local water resources challenges and developing initial project ideas and TofR to commission project feasibility studies.  The second stage (Projects Evaluation) is all about evaluating the selected project ideas through different feasibility studies and cost-benefit methodologies, a process geared at integrating CONAGUA’s project portfolio with the necessary technical information. The third stage (Projects Prioritization) uses an Analytical Hierarchical Process (AHP), a multi-criteria approach that supports the prioritization of project portfolios according to different economic, social, environmental, political and institutional criteria. For this stage different sub-sectorial AHP models were developed. This stage also involved testing the AHP models for consistency and accuracy. The fourth stage (Strategic Dialogue) involves the establishment of a Project Committee within CONAGUA, where the prioritized project portfolio is discussed amongst senior civil servants in order to take final, informed and strategic decisions.

This initiative faced several contextual challenges that had to be addressed in order for the prioritization system to respond to actual institutional objectives and capability frontiers.  Also, some policy recommendations have been developed to support the correct institutionalisation of the system. Currently, the 2030WRG is undertaking a final stage of this initiative, that includes the fine-tuning of the AHP models and some capacity building. The work has been carried out with the support of AMEC Foster and Wheeler and Castalia Strategic Advisers.