CAWa at the World Water Week 2013

At this year’s World Water Week in Stockholm dedicated to the topic of “Water cooperation – building partnerships”, the CAWa project co-convened the session “Collaboration in Networks for Water Capacity Development”, which was organized in cooperation with UNDP’s CapNet programme.


The United Nations declared 2013 as the International Year of Water Cooperation to raise awareness that cooperation is essential to strike a balance between the different needs and priorities and share this precious resource equitably, using water as an instrument of peace. This year’s World Water Week, held in Stockholm 1-6 September 2013, thus focused on “Water cooperation – building partnerships”. With over 2,600 thousand participants, the World Water Week 2013successfully linked practice, science, policy and decision making.

Session on “Collaboration in Networks for Water Capacity Development”

On 2 September, the CAWa project co-convened the session “Collaboration in Networks for Water Capacity Development”, which was organized in cooperation with UNDP’s CapNet activists. CAWa scientists from GFZ German Research Centre of Geosciences and the Center for International Development and Environmental Research (ZEU ) as well as specialists from the GIZ Transboundary Water Management Programme, the German-Kazakh University DKU and the German Water Partnership presented as a case study the experiences gained within the “Berlin Process” and additional academic programmes funded by German donors in capacity building in the water sector of Central Asia.

Case study: Capacity building as promoter for transboundary water cooperation in Central Asia

More specifically, the German contribution discussed the question, to which degree capacity building may promote transboundary water cooperation in Central Asia. The authors concluded that:

  • Capacity building at the individual and institutional levels does contribute to transboundary cooperation, but the institutional and political framework has to be addressed in parallel to ensure the mid-term to long-term effectiveness of CB programs through institutional ownership.

  • The effective use of the gained knowledge requires reliable funding of water management organizations, state agencies, ministries, and research institution, not least to avoid a brain drain of their experts.

  • Capacity building is always a trade-off between „quick wins“ and „marathons“. Sustainable programmes with measurable outcomes require the long-term commitment of both, international donors and the local partner institutions.

How to measure effectiveness of Capacity Development programmes?

In a panel discussion, 6 panelists from Africa, Latin America, Europe and Central Asia debated how to measure the effectiveness of Capacity Development programmes. The panellists concluded that, though “measuring” impact is not a straight-forward task, simple output statistics are not sufficient to evaluate the impact of Capacity Building activities. More emphasis should be put on monitoring the short to mid-term application of the knowledge, e.g. through Alumni careers monitoring in educational programs or using questionnaires to follow-up on professional training programs.

They also agreed that working in vital network of professionals, decision makers, institutions and researchers turned out to be a successful strategy to increase the impact of Capacity Development activities in various regions of the World.


For details on the session programme check the World Water Week website.