IWRM Action Hub

Participation, consensus building, and conflict management training course: tools for achieving PCCP

Description / Abstract

The world has changed for water resources managers, planners and decision makers. Today,  especially  in  the  context  of  new  demands  for  integrated  water  resources management  (IWRM),  water  managers  and  planners  often  work  in  teams involving  multiple  disciplines,  not  just  engineering  and  associated  technical  fields. Increasingly  they work in multi-agency teams, which involve a variety of public, NGO, and private sponsors. Today’s water managers and decision makers must consult with a broader range   of   stakeholders,   publics,   and   NGOs   –   locally,   regionally,   and   often   internationally.  And,  they  must  do  all  this  while  operating  in  a  world of  increasing  demands on water. 

Technical   excellence   remains   necessary   for   creating   sustainable   water   management  decisions,  perhaps  even  more  so  than  ever.  People  all  over  the world  need  technical  engineering  competence  more  than  ever  before.  However,  it is  not  sufficient in itself. The ability to put that competence at the service of those who need it  depends,  in  many  cases,  on  changing  the  relationship  between  the experts  and  those  whom  they  are  serving.  This  course  aims  at  helping  to  build, to  modify,  or  to create such new functional relationships. 

The new water resources decision-making environment requires at least two sets of skills.  First,  it  requires  excellent  and  broad  technical  skills  that  reach  across disciplines  to  consider  alternatives  that  in  the  past  were  often  not  evaluated.  In addition,  today’s  water  decisions  often  rest  on  a  scientific  basis  that  is  itself incomplete.  This  sometimes  means  that  water  decision  makers  must  first  get agreement on what studies need to be conducted and what data should be collected, to ensure  that  decisions  are  based  on  science,  not  rhetoric.  As  a  result,  water planners and managers need a breadth of technical knowledge that goes beyond the traditional excellence in engineering. 

Second,  water  planners  and  managers  need  another  set  of  skills:  the  skills  of designing  and  conducting  processes  that  draw  together  partners,  stakeholders, and publics,   resulting   in   decisions   that   enjoy   broad   cross-sectoral,   and   often transboundary,  public  support.  The  era  where  water  planners  and  managers decide–announce–defend is rapidly disappearing. In this new era, water management is done with (as opposed to being done “for” or “to”) potentially affected agencies, public and private organizations, individuals, and others.

This  course  teaches  this  second  set  of  skills.  These  are  the  skills  that  will  help water resources decisions makers avert conflict, deal with conflict should it arise, and use water decisions as a venue for dialog when others are closed to parties locked in various types of non-water conflicts. In short these are tools to help water resources decision makers take the PCCP road.

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Source URL:https://iwrmactionhub.org/resource/participation-consensus-building-and-conflict-management-training-course-tools-achieving