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Capacity Building Programmes for Effective Transboundary Water Management

IWRA World Water Congress 2008 Montpellier France
8. Capacity Building
Author(s): Anton Earle
Cecilia Martinsen
Peter Qwist-Hoffmann
Klas Sandström
Daniel Malzbenderv
Joan Kariuki
The authors are from the respective implmenting organisations of the programme.

Keyword(s): Capacity building, transboundary water management, institutional development, knowledge transfer

AbstractTransboundary waters often stimulate cooperation rather than conflict. Ultimately shared water has a chance of influencing regional politics in the direction of increased co-operation to lay a foundation for social and political stability, economic prosperity and poverty alleviation. A dialogue on water and its role in development provides a means for building trust among the parties in a region, with the aim of managing shared waters in an efficient, equitable and sustainable manner. In 2006 a Transboundary Water Management programme, supported by SIDA, was initiated by Ramboll Natura, SIWI and the ACWR. This programme aims at strengthening the capacities of the individuals and organisations involved in transboundary water management in developing countries globally. Over a 3 week period modules on topics such as negotiation tactics, stakeholder participation, hydro-politics, environmental water requirements and benefit sharing are presented by international experts. Transboundary water management practitioners, mainly government officials, who have first-hand experience of managing shared waters and negotiating agreements around them, interact with participants through panel discussions and site visits. In addition to these knowledge inputs, the participants engage in intensive peer-to-peer knowledge exchange, sharing their wealth of experience with each other. The programme has also been implemented in specific locations and basins – the MENA region and Lake Victoria basin respectively. The programme is now about to embark on its third intake of participants, each group comprising 30 mid-career professionals from a variety of sectors – government, NGOs, private sector, academia and the media. In essence, organisational capacity building is aimed for through strengthening the skills of the individual and linking those skills to their job situation. One of the instruments used is the Individual Project, an analysis of a real-world issue currently being dealt with by the participants’ organisation. Over time a type of “alumni network” is developing – demand driven by the participants themselves. This has allowed them to interact with course participants form previous years and from other regions – thus further institutionalising the learning experience. This paper provides an overview of the innovative approaches used by the programme to encourage that individual capacity development leads to institutional strengthening and greater effectiveness on the ground. It further makes a qualitative assessment of some of the impacts of the programme in its third year – at both individual as well as institutional level.
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