UNU-INWEH strives to strengthen the capacity of water sector stakeholders to bridge the science-policy interface and conversion of research to knowledge to fill gaps that exist in water literacy. The main focus is, however, on developing and emerging economies. UNU-INWEH capacity development initiatives are solutions driven, include case-based learning, and are designed to help participants understand water challenges in the context of interlinking environmental, social, and political threats. These initiatives support high-quality research on pressing global water challenges, dissemination of information to different audiences, and enhancement of the visibility of UNU at community and global scale.
A range of capacity development programs at UNU-INWEH includes:
In-house and remote internships
International and local Embedded Learning Programmes
Graduate program “Water Without Borders,” in collaboration with McMaster University
On-line education interface, the Water Learning Centers and its regional nodes in Global South
Public Lecture series (Another Drop)
The Water Without Borders (WWB), a collaborative graduate program between the UNU-INWEH and McMaster University, is designed to be undertaken alongside a graduate degree program at McMaster University and is open to all graduate students in various faculties and departments. The intent is to train students in tools they need to achieve, their aspirations of learning but and prepare them as champions to support the vision of water secure states and communities.
Another Drop Lecture Series of UNU INWEH has been providing the local academic and the broader community with an insight into the many and varied challenges faced around the water world. It’s an opportunity for experts to present research, policy, and case studies that enhance understanding of linkages between water, environment, and health. to provide. The lectures are held monthly on a Tuesdays, September through March. Speakers are recruited from universities in Canada and abroad, representatives of the private sector, and policymakers linked to UNU INWEHs research and policy mandate. Another Drop Lectures are also part of the curriculum and knowledge sharing for the WWB cohort.
In the past years, UNU-INWEH maintains active and vibrant in-house trainees and network of regional points in for the Water Learning Center that has imparted training to governments, private sector, academic institutes, and universities, and UN agencies experts for more than a decade. UNU INWEH has delivered courses on an online Water Learning Centre (WLC) through regional training hubs in Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, and Sub-Saharan Africa. A new WLC interface is relaunching in December 2020 with the long-term, overarching goal to enhance national capacities for the development and implementation of sustainable water management strategies in developing countries, at local, regional, and sub-regional levels. Aligning with UNU-INWEH’s new strategic plan, WLC will promote topics such as water security, water-health, mangrove ecosystems, big data for water-related applications, water migration and disasters, and unconventional water resources. These courses will provide opportunities for continuing education and skills upgrading.
Up to eleven (11) new courses/programs will be available as part of the WLC relaunch:
Global Water Security
Integrated Water Resource Management
Big data analysis for water-related applications
WASH in Healthcare Facilities
Mangrove biodiversity and ecosystem
Flood early warning systems
Water and Migration
Unconventional Water Resources
SDG 6 Policy Support System (English, Spanish and Korean)
Learning content for various initiatives outlined for the new launch of WLC will draw from the ongoing research projects/programs directions outlined in the new strategic plan of UNU INWEH (2020-2024) that includes aspects, but not limited to: solving chronic and convoluted water risks, unpacking water–migration-gender nexus, unconventional water resources, etc. Re-launching of the WLC constitutes the main effort of this Project in 2020.
UNU-INWEH Internship Programme attracts a recent postgraduate or postgraduates enrolled in water-related degree courses worldwide. Scholars who are interested in making a difference in water, heath environmental research and policy and demonstrating the commitment towards addressing issues of international importance related to the above stated thematic scope are inducted in the program. Similarly, the Embedded Learning Experience (ELE) program is designed specifically for young professionals, to equip young graduate scholars to be the water leaders of the future – to drive change in how water is managed and governed. Additionally, the MUST program provides a platform for McMaster University students from all faculties and departments, a placement to work with experts and programme staff at UNU INWEH to either fulfill their coop requirement or for degree program credits offset in the context of experiential learning. Scholars for all the above programs are recruited through a competitive application process either through specific vacancy announcements or unsolicited applications. They are required to make a one-month (minimum) to 6-month (maximum) full-time commitment.
Besides, the experts and UNU-INWEH Adjunct professors will also be involved to contribute to the learning content and to participate in capacity development programs actively. For example, the Water Without Border cohort of 2020-2021 curriculum lists guest lectures by Adjunct Professors.
Overall, this Project hence will contribute evidence to guide scholars, communities, and citizens on the critical role of water in sustainability through the popular ‘Another Drop Lecture Series’, the Water Learning Center training, in-house opportunities such as internships, MUST, ELE, and virtual mentoring through “externships” (this latter option will be explored and possibly implemented in 2020) and finally the flagship collaborative activity with McMaster University-the WWB program. This Project builds on the previous UNU-INWEH project “Water Without Borders” (Pelikan Code: 1305), which was implemented from 2013. However, all capacity development initiatives are now “assembled” under one Project umbrella.
The goal of this Project is to enhance focus on capacity development of scholars and stakeholders on up to date knowledge and learning that enables them to understand multifaceted water challenges and water-related SDGs, deploy the innovative digital technologies to deploy learning opportunities to address challenges specific to water education, advance gender equality within the water education sector, and successfully manage gaps and needs in building future water leader and informed citizens.
Key outputs from this Project will include i) Water Without Borders Program delivery in, primarily, distant education mode , ii) relaunch of WLC as a source of learning content directed to practicing professionals, researchers, and any interested organization or an individual wishing to upgrade their knowledge of the various water-related concepts and practices, and iii) support and expansion of various options for short-term training, including internships (in-house and remote) MUST and ELE scholars.