What makes a champion for landscape-based storm water management in Addis Ababa?

Liku Workalemahu Habtemariam*, Lise Byskov Herslund, Patience Mguni

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The Literature on cities in the Global North places champions at the centre of transitions in the water sector. But what makes a champion in a city of the Global South like Addis Ababa where the capacity and level of coordination is low? In this article, a case study based on different action research activities including workshops, training, plan making as well as interviews, was conducted to identify the conditions that makes a champion and to highlight the challenges and opportunities for fostering champions of landscape-based storm water management (LSM). The study shows that potential executive champions are difficult to engage which is a problem in a hierarchical and centralized governance system, leaving little room for potential project level champions to manoeuvre. High turnover of staff both among executives and experts presents a barrier to the fostering of champions. Local-level champions are needed; however there are structural constraints that impede their emergence. The university as an intermediary can play a big role in fostering champions of LSM, but it can also burnout and thus other types of champions are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101378
JournalSustainable Cities and Society
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019


  • Addis Ababa
  • Champions
  • Sustainability transitions
  • Sustainable urban water management
  • Water resilience

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