Nile Basin Initiative DSS

Level: Regional
Region: Africa
Tags: Capacity building & knowledge transfer
Target audience: Industry/business | Local government/municipalities | National government | Regional government | Water authorities | Water companies


The Nile Basin Decision Support System (NB DSS) is an analytical tool jointly developed by Nile Basin Initiative (NBI).

The NB DSS is a computer-based platform for communication, information management and analysis of water resources. It provides a framework for sharing knowledge, understanding river system behaviour, evaluating alternative development and management strategies, and supporting informed decision making.

The DSS was designed to meet the requirements of complex water resources planning. It provides diverse tool-sets for data processing, modelling, scenario management, optimisation and multi-criteria decision making. It also offers tools for integrating environmental, social and economic objectives that greatly facilitate multi-sector water resources planning at the river basin level.

The DSS is a generic system that can be applied at different scales—at national and transboundary levels, for example. Furthermore, it can be installed both within an institutional setup (thereby allowing multiple access to its central database and toolset) and as a standalone solution.

The project included the design, development, adaptation, testing and deployment of the NB DSS at the regional, sub-regional and national levels as well as proof-of-concept, training and continued support after final deployment of the system.

Results obtained

  • Conceptual design and technical specification of the DSS, based on a detailed assessment of user needs.
  • A series of stakeholder training and awareness workshops.
  • Development of the Nile Information System, a web-based knowledge and information management system to support information sharing and communication between the NBI (Nile Basin Initiative) partners.

Success factors

  • Highly participatory consultancy, with extensive stakeholder consultations, in all NBI member countries.
  • Detailed technical specifications of system functionality requirements, models, tools and system components.
  • Instructive trainings and workshops.

Indicators used

  • Number of NB DSS users.
  • Participation in trainings and workshops.

Before implementation, an assessment of potential users, data availability, decision support needs and training needs is recommended. The DSS and modelling tools are general and can be applied to any river basin where government support for creating the DSS is available.

Total costs

  • USD 3,587,306