The Butterfly Effect – NGO coalition

Launched in November 2010 within the framework of the 6th World Water Forum in Marseille (France), the Butterfly Effect (BE) is a network of international and local CSO/NGO, from all over the globe, which advocates for effective local solutions that have a sustainable impact on improving access to water and sanitation and water resource management. The Butterfly Effect promotes joint initiatives without competing with (or taking over from) other international, regional, and local initiatives, and supports its members in their initiatives to strengthen their advocacy actions. As such the Butterfly Effect is a catalyzer for CSO/NGO voice in the water sector and in the international agenda The Butterfly Effect is made up of over 130 civil society organizations, NGOs, networks as well as youths and women’s organizations.
The Secretariat of the Butterfly Effect is coordinated by the International Secretariat for Water (ISW)

Our mission and objectives

The mission of the Butterfly Effect is to ensure that the NGOs/CSOs voice, from all world regions, is strong and heard in the international agenda when it comes to advocating water’s essential role in sustainable and equitable development. The role of the Butterfly Effect is to let civil society organizations globally, engage on water issues to express themselves on common aspects. The network speaks not on behalf but rather supports its members (NGO and CSO) from across the globe to voice the views of the sector in strategic water-related international fora (World Water Forum, Agenda 2030, climate change conferences, etc.) in order to influence consistently the political agendas of water-related issues. Getting together and working together under the Butterfly Effect umbrella benefits all members that participate.
The Butterfly Effect objectives are to:
    • Mobilize and facilitate meaningful NGO and CSO participation and contribution in World Water Forum and on the “Water” international agenda in general by pooling knowledge and resources and exert greater influence over the sector’s actors and decision-makers;
    • Promote inclusive processes in the World Water Forum in order to ensure a prominent role for civil society organizations, both throughout the preparatory processes and during the Forum;
    • Share innovative expertise: The Butterfly Effect proposes solutions based on human rights principles, communities’ experience that relate to policies, projects, information campaigns, and empowering stakeholders. Crucially, these solutions are local, sustainable, adaptable, innovative, equitable, accountable, and people-orientated.


The Butterfly Effect has several governance bodies structuring the network :
  • A General Assembly, bringing together nearly 130 organizations from around the world;
  • A Steering Committee made up of 11 organizations and responsible for implementing the strategic orientations decided by the General Assembly;
  • A Secretariat, provided by the ISW and coordinating the day-to-day management of the network as well as information and communication between members;
  • 3 thematic working groups:
    • WG Agenda on Water and Climate Change ;
    • WG Agenda 2030 for sustainable development ;
    • WG World Water Forum

Advocacy themes

The Butterfly Effect has identified several advocacy themes related to key water governance issues that need to be addressed in order to respond to the sector's current challenges.
These themes include:
  • Human rights and access to safe drinking water and sanitation:
  • Water governance;
  • Water and financial issues;
  • The relationship between water, sanitation, hygiene, and health;
  • Capacity development of water stakeholders
  • Peace and cooperation (especially cross-border cooperation)
  • Climate change and management of natural and water resources
  • Drinking water and safety ;
  • Water and crisis situations.
To learn more about the Butterfly Effect, follow the network here:

To join the network  

To join the network, do not hesitate to go to the Butterfly Effect website to read the rules and regulations and send us your application form.

The Butterfly Effect Newsletter:

The Butterfly Effect Newsletter is published every 2 months. To receive it, sign-up here.

If you wish to share content in our next newsletter, please do not hesitate to contact the secretariat at the following email address:


The Butterfly Effect puts many resources at the disposal of NGOs and CSOs in the water sector. To consult them, go to the Butterfly Effect website in section ''Resources''


For any request, please contact the Secretariat at the following address:



New website for the NGO Coalition Butterfly Effect!

The coalition of NGOs – Butterfly Effect, whose secretariat is managed by the ISW-SWE, Action Against Hunger and supported by Coalition-Eau has just launched its new website! The contains several reference documents, a profile for each of its members and even offers the possibility for new members to join the network. New members can create their … Continue reading New website for the NGO Coalition Butterfly Effect!

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