The need to broaden participation and thereby democratise the process of integrated catchment management for sustainable water resources development is fundamental to peaceful, holistic and equitable progress in Southern Africa. This need is urgent in a region racked with conflict and riven by inequalities that exacerbate the already complex situation surrounding the sustainable development of scarce water resources.

The key questions, however, relate to the strategies which organisations can employ both internally and inter-organisationally to empower people to play a meaningful role in the processes that will lead to the attainment of these goals.

This paper explores the possibilities for such strategies and moves the discussion beyond purely scientific needs to examine the technological and human resources and cultural and organisational transformations which are taking place. It also suggests some transformations that are still required for such strategies to succeed.