Unlocking the Potential of Groundwater for the Poor (UPGro) was a seven-year international research program (2013–2020) funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Nearly 200 of the world’s best researchers from more than 50 organizations across Africa and beyond and from various disciplines, in collaboration with several local, national, regional and international stakeholders, focused on improving the evidence base and best practices around groundwater resources assessment and management in sub-Saharan Africa. The goal was to ensure that all citizens, the poorest in particular, benefit from the hidden wealth of Africa’s aquifers in the long term. The UPGro approach was to intentionally link social and natural sciences to address this challenge, and to advance the knowledge to a wide community of researchers, policy makers and practitioners who are dealing with issues related to water security, climate resilience, livelihoods, human and environmental health, economic development and, ultimately, poverty alleviation.
UPGro has produced a short film and other film material to highlight the outcomes and findings of the program, while emphasizing opportunities and challenges emerging from the work. In addition, UPGro has collated all the research outputs and publications, related key knowledge products, capacity building material, and valuable online data and information platforms to leave a long-lasting legacy of the program.