Water Integrity Capacity Building Programme in MENA

SIWI is implementing a regional Water Integrity Capacity Building Programme for the Middle East and North Africa region in collaboration with regional and local partners from 2014 to 2017. The programme is funded by Sida and builds on extensive experience gained from similar capacity building programmes in other regions.  It has the political endorsement in the five Project countries and on December 4, 2014 it was officially labelled by the 43 member countries of the Union for the Mediterranean.

Goals

Develop capacities of the different water stakeholder groups at different governance levels in the MENA region thereby improving transparency and accountability practices in water resources management

Water scarcity in the MENA region is not only a result of physical water shortage, but is also linked to lack of good governance structures, high water demand, and low levels of trust between different parties sharing the same water resource. Poor resource management, insufficient capacity, lack of institutional integrity, bureaucratic inertia and a shortage of new investments further undermines effective governance of water and lead to conflicts at the local, national and regional level. Although most of the countries in the region have already developed comprehensive and precise water laws and policies, many face significant challenges when implementing them.

Most of the region’s countries have already constructed significant water resource infrastructure, but the effectiveness of water governance and management has often lagged behind, particularly in relation to transparency, accountability, and participation

Good governance of the water resources will increase the water use efficiency. In addition, better water management at the resource level is necessary in order to manage the effective and equitable allocation between existing uses and the growing needs of urban and industrial sectors. Hardware solutions to these challenges are not, by themselves, sufficient.

Combine peer learning and professional mentorship. Focus explicitly on behavioural change i.e. to be able to translate knowledge acquired through the trainings into actual pro-integrity changes on the ground.

Conduct a series of workshops and training at different levels, using interactive learning methods such as discussions, role play, group exercises and experience sharing. Each of the trainings is adapted to the relevant capacity need of the target groups in this region

Progress

The programme combines a series of trainings at different levels. By combining peer-to-peer learning and professional mentorship in a participatory learning environment, the programme has an explicit focus on behaviour change i.e to be able to translate knowledge acquired through the trainings into actual pro-integrity changes on the ground. To achieve this, the project created a professional mentorship programme for approximately 100 alumni who receive individual ‘on the job’ support to initiate integrity activities in their respective home organisations or area of work.

The first step of the Programme was to conduct National Water Integrity Assessments, followed by a series of trainings at different levels, based on substantial experience gained by the programme partners and each adapted to the relevant capacity needs, specific objectives, and target group. The results have informed the adaptation of the training materials (link), a regional synthesis report (link), a series of regional and national policy briefs (link).
 
National Trainings in the each of the five programme countries targeted selected groups and trained approximately 370 participants, out of which 49% were women. These were followed by four Regional Alumni Workshops, focused on women, civil society, operators and decision makers. They helped create a regional community of practice on water integrity and to foster water integrity ambassadors in the target countries. Two National Alumni Workshops will be held in December 2016 to provide a further opportunity for integrity practitioners to interact with the national decision-makers.