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6th World Water Forum
Home Page  > + Forum Programme  > Sessions > Theme 6

Theme 6: Education, Knowledge and Capacity Development

6.1 Education and Capacity Development Strategies

6.1.0 Opening Plenary. The dramatic dialogue proposed will feature three women water professionals each representing one theme i.e. Saciwaters (Capacity development), WaterNet ( Knowledge management) and Concertacion (Education). Positioned between them will be a senior male water professional (to be selected from one of the networks) who will play the "devil’s advocate". The dialogue will be crisp and lively focusing on the Topic themes and highlighting the ground reality and needs in developing countries. Contact: Women for Water Partnership & UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education.

6.1.1 Knowledge for all, all for knowledge. The more the worldwide situation in the water domain matures, the need for knowledge becomes more important for developing the capacities and competencies of stakeholders and, in the end, for finding efficient, sustainable, economically affordable and socially equitable solutions. But to accomplish this, the development of knowledge by scientists must respond to grassroot demands and the needs of a large range of stakeholders. At the same time, collaboration and exchanges between scientists and practitioners must be improved so the impact of knowledge is more efficient. Outcomes, new technologies or methods developed by research institutes must be better understood at all relevant levels, in particular on the ground. This session will analyze different approaches recently experimented with, which enable scientist to work closely together with practitioners and stakeholder groups to build a better relationship and connections to the ground and decision-makers.
Contact: International Office for Water (IOW) & Network of Women Water Professionals Sri Lanka (NetWwater)

6.1.2 Institutional Capacity Development: Getting the Balance Right for Equitable Water Allocation
With global changes, such as climate change, population growth, the globalization of food and other markets, causing a rise in demand for water, if the MDG related to water supply and sanitation is to be achieved, an equitable allocation of water between all necessary sectors (agriculture, industry, energy, environment, etc.) will need to be maintained. What institutional capacity already exists in different countries and what is still required in order for water management stakeholders to plan, implement and enforce policy and legal reforms to achieve this? How can institutions be developed for the benefit of different sectors’ needs (high agricultural productivity and low water pollution; new housing and flood plain management)? How can multi-stakeholder involvement help accomplish this?
Contact: UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development (UNW-DPC) & Arab Water Council (AWC)

6.1.3 Get involved! Whose and what empowerment will ensure the provision of sustainable water services? Should capacity development be done differently if we want to improve the coverage and performance of water management and water supply and sanitation services? This session, designed with break-out discussion groups, will focus on six areas of capacity development at the local level: Local Partnerships, Local Autonomy and Self-sufficiency, Matching CD Demand and Supply, Knowledge Management and CD Tools, Gender mainstreaming and preparing for Climate Change.
Contact: UNESCO-IHE, Women for Water Partnership, IRC Water and Sanitation Centre

6.1.4 Water Education and Schools: Bridging Divides for Future Generations. Today’s youth are an untapped source of tomorrow’s water problem-solvers. Teachers and educators need support in finding new and exciting ways to engage youth for the cause of water. Local actions and solutions by childrean and schools to water problems are one of the bridges to future generations. What are the latest educational materials that build a sense of responsibility and create excitement? How can we empower people, and specifically children and teachers, to make a difference for water through their actions?
Contact: Project WET Foundation, USA & Ministry of Water and Environment, Uganda

6.1.5 Wrap-up and Synthesis. The session will consist of short reports from 4 topic sessions. This will be done by sharing the most important two statements or conclusions with the participants and a high level panel. Contact: Women for Water Partnership & UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education:

6.2.1 Thinking Outside the Water Box. This session aims to peer into a crystal ball, to see how the future of water management might evolve in the next 30 years. It will take participant on a journey in a future-oriented context, and will help to imagine ways of how future innovations in technology can help ensure sustainable water management.
Contact: Netherlands Water Partnership & Akvo

6.2.2 Decision-making in an uncertain world (Achieving Greater Use and Impact of Research through the Learning Alliance Approach and Other Multi-stakeholder Approaches) This session will demonstrate the need for a paradigm shift in order to successfully manage water in an uncertain world. It will highlight that greater stakeholder engagement and a process of engagement is beneficial in the long-term especially when better linked to the policy practice.
Contact: IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre, UNESCO-IHE, Bullikian Foundation, SWITCH project, RiPPLE project / ODI, WASHCost project, Water Research Commission

6.2.3 Integrated Water Management – Can We Get There? This session centres around a debate on cities where the urban water system has failed to meet demand or is racked with pollution.  The main cause of this failure tends to be lack of institutions, regulations and participatory approach.  This session will seek to highlight how some of these failures could be avoided. 
Contact: University of Abertay, Dundee UK, UNESCO-IHE/ SWITCH, UNESCO – IHP OECD – Environment Directorate

6.2.4 Wrap-up and Synthesis Concrete conclusions and recommendations forwarded during the preceding sessions will be presented for further evaluation and debate.  The session seeks to identify common guidelines for water and science to develop innovative solutions for the 21st century. 
Contact: UNESCO – IHP (Institute of Water Education)

6.3 Using the Assets of Professional Associations and Networks to Achieve the MDGs

6.3.1 Connecting the Dots: How to get to the MDGs with the help of professional associations. Professional associations and communities of practice represent a huge number of people with a vast array of experience. How can this experience be mobilised to change the face of water and sanitation management as we know it? How can these networks be tapped to accelerate the achievement of the MDGs? Do the networks really have access to the right capacities and people?
Contact: Environmental & Water Resources Institute (EWRI) of American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

6.3.2 Showcasing Success: How professional networks and associations are making an impact. In the absence of well developed water governance systems, members of professional associations and networks could play a key role in creating better decision-making. However, can these complementary structures truly provide the legitimacy and experience needed to improve governance and decision-making in the long term?  Over time and in concert with local conditions and needs, how can greater transparency and accountability, and inclusion of diverse stakeholder inputs be obtained?
Contact: American Water Resources Association

6.3.3 No More Money Down the Drain: Should investments be linked to professional associations’ backstopping? Money alone is not enough to induce change, especially in developing countries. What is the role of members of professional networks in providing adequate personnel, technical assistance and leadership to improve upon sustainable investments and interventions?
Contact: IAHR & International Water Association

6.3.4 The Road Less Travelled (No More)? Summing It All Up. The session will uncover the learning points and analysis from Topic 6.3. Contact: IAHR & International Water Association

6.4 Data for All

6.4.1 Data Needs and Data Acquisition: All research and development, as well as the day-to-day and year-by-year operation of water supply and flood management systems, depend on having access to good quality data and information. These include geophysical data on, for example, rainfall, the flow in rivers and the state of underground water sources, as well as economic data for use in assessing the financial viability of projects and data required to assess their impact on communities and the environment. Without this full range of data, both policies and projects will be developed on false assumptions leading to a real risk of their physical and economic failure and the suffering of whole populations.  New technological developments are available to help us meet this challenge. (organised in conjunction with a technical fair)
Contact: International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS)

6.4.2 Data Integration and Dissemination: From Data to Information: Collecting water data and information is not sufficient in itself; they must be stored, processed and presented to those who need them in an appropriate form.  This requires co-ordinated action at local, national and international level and can take advantage of new technologies that are currently revolutionizing the ICT environment.  The challenge is to provide information not only to the specialist, but also to senior administrators, politicians and the general public. (organised in conjunction with a technical fair)
Contact: United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) & The National Water Commission (CONAGUA) – Mexico

6.4.3 Barriers to Data Availability: What stops us from unlocking the data treasure chest? Even when data are available, they are not always shared freely with those who could most benefit from them. The acquisition, processing and publishing of data is chronically underfunded. Can we find the will to overcome the financial, legal and policy barriers that block access to the data that are needed?
Contact: World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), WIPO, IPCC & IAHS (PUB, United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD)

6.4.4 Action to Ensure Data for All. It is important to put together the outcomes of the three previous sessions and assemble a co-ordinated set of conclusions and recommendations because all three address closely related issues and progress on any one element must entail action with regard to the others. Certainly those in positions of influence outside the water sector need to receive only one combined message under the heading "Data for All". Contact: International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS), World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD)

6.5 Water and Culture

6.5.1 Cultural Diversity: Key to water sustainability. Key to water Sustainability This session provides an assessment of research and case studies on the topic of water and cultural diversity, including the social, political and economic dimension. It will discuss the role of traditional knowledge and practices that demonstrate cultural sensitivity to the benefits of water diversity and analyzing the challenges and opportunities cultural diversity brings to the successful development of integrated sustainable management of water resources for local communities.
Contact: Gazi University, Faculty of Engineering & Architecture, UNESCO-IHP

6.5.2 Water and History: Understanding the Water Cultures of Past Civilizations and Deriving Lessons for the Present. Understanding the Water Cultures of Past Civilizations and Deriving Lessons for the Present The session will focus on deepening our understanding of water by bridging our understanding of the past and present.  What is the role of water knowledge systems in the development of civilizations?  This session will also showcase tangible versus intangible water-related heritage and learning from past experiences and of lessons learnt that are applicable today.
Contact: International Water History Association, UNESCO-IHP, Middle East Technical University

6.5.3 Fostering Socio-cultural Perspectives in Water Sciences and Management: Identifying Bridges and Barriers. Identifying Bridges and Barriers This session will focus on compilation of strategies and next step towards integration of cultural diversity in water management, sciences, policy making and capacity building.  This includes, tools, methodologies lessons learned, “best practices” from different cultural backgrounds, eco-regions and continents; identification of methods and strategies on different levels of actions – sciences and knowledges related to water, water management and water policy – to foster socio-cultural perspectives in water resources development and to promote pluralism in water management.
Contact: Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN), Japan, Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

6.5.4 Traditional Water Management and Global Environmental Change: Charting Sustainable Paths for the Future. The session will bridge the divide between traditional knowledge and water science and management systems in maintaining the sustainability of water resources. It is an attempt to uncover knowledge management strategies that have persisted over time due to cultural evolution and adapting to available water resource. Diverse water cultures and knowledge systems provide a source of innovation in developing flexible and just solutions to present and future environmental challenges.
Contact: UNU-IAS Traditional Knowledge, Bilgi University

6.5.5 Wrap-up and Synthesis. Contact: UNESCO-IHP, TURKKAD, ISKI




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