Global Freshwater Stakeholder Research Activity (WWF)



WWF Internship: Global Freshwater Stakeholder Research Activity


1 Background of the organization

The Wereld Natuur Fonds-Nederland (WWF-NL) is part of an international organization for the protection of nature with the mission to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which Humans live in harmony with nature. The organization has independent offices in around 100 countries in the world forming a global network. There is a common worldwide strategy that focusses on the conservation of the biodiversity on the planet and the reduction of the global footprint to a level that is within the limits of the earth.  WWF looks for solutions in cooperation with governments, companies and civil society to realize protection of species and their habitats and a sustainable use of environmental resources.  

2 The research: background and research questions


WWF has recently been through a global change process which has resulted in the development of a new global Freshwater Goal. Our Freshwater Goal is to ensure that: Freshwater ecosystems and their services sustain people and nature. This goal is supported by 2 objectives:

Outcome 1 - Healthy Habitats & Species

By 2030, protection of freshwater habitats has doubled and good management and restoration of freshwater habitats has stabilized freshwater species populations.

Outcome 2 - Clean Flowing Rivers:

By 2030, the hydrological integrity and quality of the most important ecosystems* are maintained or restored. (*valued economically and ecologically)

Our Practice Outcomes are set at a species, habitat and  landscape level, but to achieve these goals we will need to work across all scales within the system, ensuring that our work at different levels is closely aligned. Work at species and habitats level needs to backed-up by efforts to improve governance and investment, for example designation of a protected area needs to go along with enforcement of regulations and investment in good management. Similarly our work with corporate partners needs to be targeted to improve the ecological status of our most valuable freshwater ecosystems.

In order to achieve our ambitious Goal and Outcomes we need to understand who are the most globally influential stakeholders.

3 Research question

WWF would like to update and review a previous evaluation study, to help identify the globally influential stakeholders that are shaping the paradigm on freshwater issues and map WWF’s engagement with these stakeholders.

The aim is to help better understand where WWF should be focusing our influencing powers at the international level and how effective we are being at eliciting the changes in policy and practice that meet WWF’s conservation objectives.

Conduct a research project that:

  1. Reviews the current globally influential stakeholders and identifies new priorities. While there are many players at a national level that our programme offices work to engage and influence, there are also highly influential international stakeholders that WWF needs to engage with at a global level to achieve our conservation objectives. These could be multilateral & bilateral donor organisations, finance organisations, research institutions, and others. We need to clarify who these organisations are.
  2. Review of the baselines for measurement. Once we have clarified the globally influential stakeholders which should be priorities for our engagement, we need to conduct qualitative research with the identified stakeholders to:
  • understand their current awareness of, and engagement with, WWF;
  • review their current positions in relation to the Freshwater practice Goals and Outcomes;
  • and explore potential areas of mutual interest and influence.
  1. Informs our approach to communications. This research will then be used to develop an informed and structured approach to how we engage, inform and influence these stakeholders. We wish to clearly articulate what outcome we are looking to achieve through this engagement.


4 Student Profile

WWF looks for motivated master student that is able to work on an independent basis (supervision time is limited). Experience with qualitative research techniques, and basic knowledge of stakeholder/power mapping is a must. Moreover, the student should have excellent speaking and writing skills in (Dutch and) English. The project will be supervised by the Global Policy Manager Freshwater. Background study (depending on topic)

5 Period

As soon as possible, 4-6 months

6 Allowance

€250,- per month on a full time basis

Information and Questions: contact your supervisor or Natascha Zwaal or in case of absence: Nina Haase: