The Water Information Network System (IHP-WINS)
An accessible, interactive and user-friendly platform for a wide audience of water-related stakeholders
WINS is a tool that builds on three pillars:
- A data and information base from several sources, which can be visualized in the shape of maps that can be overlaid. The added value of such a visualization tool is to turn complex data into easily understandable, meaningful and useful information for users, in particular decision-makers;
- An online library to share and access various types of documents (PDF, Word, Excel, images, videos, etc.), which contributes to building institutional memory, for both IHP and Members State who share their experiences in water management and governance;
- A networking hub to connect water-related stakeholders, foster interdisciplinary collaboration and experience sharing. This online community is gathered into working groups that contribute to strengthen exchange between users.
WINS provides a sound, scientific knowledge-base, allows to freely share information, contributes to capacity-building, and promotes cooperation, in particular North-South and South-South cooperation.
Mobilizing a water data revolution
WINS is the first web-based platform providing data and information on the water cycle in its entirety. In that sense, it constitutes a response to a 2013-request from the United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, which called for a ‘data revolution’ for sustainable development in order to improve the quantity and quality of available information.
IHP is contributing to this data revolution through WINS, which is an answer to a request from the 22nd session of the Intergovernmental Council of IHP (Resolution XXII-7; June 2016).
Data is a critical tool for understanding how to prioritize and allocate limited resources to respond to the needs of communities. When data, which is raw, unorganized facts, is processed, organized, structured or presented to make it meaningful and useful, it constitutes information. Information forms the basis for sound, science-informed policy-making.
WINS forms a tool to access clear and understandable information, and contributes to the establishment of a sound scientific base to improve the decision-making.