6th International Symposium on Knowledge and Capacity for the Water Sector & messages from UPWCD partners
The University Partnership for Water Cooperation and Diplomacy (UPWCD) brings together institutions focused on capacity and knowledge development in transboundary water cooperation. A number of partners met on two consecutive days in May: first for a coordination meeting (26 May) and then for the 6th International Symposium on Knowledge and Capacity for the Water Sector, hosted by IHE Delft (27 May). Participants reflected on key challenges, took stock of past and current activities that aim to capacitate individuals, organisations and countries to address these challenges, and brainstormed about future challenges and opportunities.
During the Symposium it was emphasised that transboundary water management is a multi-actor and multi-level issue. The processes of conflict and cooperation reflect this, and capacity development activities should too. Moreover, participants recognised how important it was not to focus only on big careers and leadership positions, but recognize how most meaningful and long lasting changes happen through people on the ground. Capacity development therefore needs to be planned with a long term perspective: careers are built with many small steps within a long process, and it is hard to single out the effect of single capacity building measures. An investment in young careers is a long term investment. Various options were mentioned and discussed as possible actions on behalf of the UPWCD and these included the creation of meaningful online possibilities for networking and mutual learning among young water scholars across the globe.
Although members of the partnership were not able to meet face to face, they shared their hopes and ideas for the Partnership.