4th World Water Forum, Mexico, 2006

Capacity Building and Social learning

Reference point for discussion from the beacons

More and faster than ever before, water management is facing challenges like water scarcity, climate change, mega-cities, and decentralization. These challenges require more capabilities of people and institutions as well as a shift in attitudes and systems that are prone to adaptation caused by these ever-increasing changes. Such capacities need to be strengthened at all levels, even more in an environment when more and more actors are participating as water management stakeholders, particularly at the local level and in developing countries. Capacity development is a cornerstone for sustainable development, hence directly related to the real chances to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and reduce extreme poverty. Together with this, there is growing awareness that a paradigm shift is needed in the way water-related problems are addressed and solved. As a consequence, a more holistic approach to strengthen the capacity of both individuals and organizations is required. The coming two decades will prove to be critical in boosting water sector capacity development and human resources development, both in terms of quantity and quality.

The key messages presented in this document include:

  1. Capacity development is also about developing adequate incentives and the enabling environment.
  2. Capacity development requires a holistic and integrated approach.
  3. Investing in capacity will pay off in the longterm.
  4. Capacity development actions require knowledge management systems to encourage exchange and dissemination.
  5. Capacity development actions in the water sector need to be scaled up.
  6. Gender mainstreaming is of particular relevance in capacity development programs.
  7. Capacity development actions need to support emerging actors in water management with particular regard to the local and intermediate levels.
  8. Capacity development actions should shift to more locally owned and implemented actions.
  9. Developing the adequate incentives and institutional and human capacity among farmers is essential.
  10. Capacities to reduce the exposure to risks in the future must be built now, involving both specialists and the public.

Key messages from the Voices of the Forum

  • Empowered Water users associations will improve the crop per drop
  • Involving youth in environmental education is a useful strategy, but not sufficient
  • Without participation, no sustainable development
  • Fostering a “Culture of risk”
  • women groups are a catalyst for community development, an agent for change and can act as important role model
  • Increasing awareness and building responsibility and capacity of local communities are key factors for the success of decentralised cooperation initiatives as they ensure the sustainability of projects.
  • Integrated ecology and hydrology approaches need to become part of education programs

Sessions synthesis

Please click on any underlined session number to accede to the corresponding session synthesis.

New concepts and tools for education and capacity building to achieve the MDG’s
Empowerment of young people for water management and the strengthening of the appropriate use of water
Strengthening institutions and stakeholders capacity for IWRM implementation at local level
Tha mass media as a detonator of a water culture
Voicing people interests : Civil society innovative change in water and sanitation
Service delivery and local empowerment. Turnaround of public utilities
Capacity development and empowerment of civil society
Service delivery and local empowerment
Sanitation, Hygiene, Education : Household water management
Capacity building in the MENA region : Ministerial panel
Capacity development strategies and social learning among stakeholders for a sustainable irrigation and drainage sector
Legal water education
Environmental education and water culture in basic education