Who We Are

UNU-INWEH is one of the United Nations University (UNU) institutes, an academic arm of the UN. The University’s 13 research and training institutes are located in 12 countries and address a range of global development challenges. UNU-INWEH specializes on water for development, working, primarily, with countries in the Global South, and addressing water issues of global significance. Water is the entry point to all UNU-INWEH’s activities, including environment and health. The Institute addresses primarily continental water resources challenges.

UNU-INWEH works to bridge the gap between the wealth of evidence and research that exists on water resources, and the practical needs that political leaders and decision makers in low- and middle-income countries have. UNU-INWEH is linked to key processes in the UN system, and represents the entire UNU in UN-Water – a cross-agency group in the UN and international partners working on water and sanitation issues globally.

UNU-INWEH’s research has a diverse range of stakeholders, including politicians and policymakers in developing countries, concerned with water, health and environment issues; donors and implementing agencies from the North and the South; scientific community in water-related research institutions and academia; UN agencies and other international and regional organizations and networks; host country and national partners in Canada, media; and civil society.

UNU-INWEH was established in 1996, as a public service agency and a subsidiary body of the UNU. Its operations are secured through long-term host-country and core-funding agreements with the Government of Canada. The Institute is located in Hamilton, Canada; its facilities are supported by McMaster University.

UNU-INWEH is the only Institute in UNU that focuses entirely and solely on water issues. It is also the only entirely water-focused UN entity in Canada.