UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education

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“Building Partnerships for a Sustainable Water Future”


UNESCO
-
IHE Institute for Water Education


Strategic Plan 2008


2013






















Delft, July 2007

109




UNESCO
-
IHE medium term strategy 2008
-
2013, June 2007

2



TABLE OF CONTENTS



EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
..............................................................................


1. INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................


2. VISION AND MISSION ................................................
..............................


3. CONTEXT AND GENERAL ORIENTATION ........................................



4. STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES ......................................................................






UNESCO
-
IHE medium term strategy 2008
-
2013, June 2007

3

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY



This Strategic Plan provide
s a vision for UNESCO
-
IHE Institute for Water
Education to make a tangible contribution to address priority issues affecting the
water sector through its education, research and capacity building/knowledge
management programs for the 2008
-
2013 period.
The
priorities and actions outlined
below will be undertaken within the context of the UNESCO Medium
-
Term Strategy,
mandates given to the Institute by the Member States through the International
Hydrological Program (IHP) Strategic Plan for the 7
th

Phase, as w
ell as specific targets of
the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s). This document should be read in parallel
with the Institute’s Business Plan which provides details for the operationalization of the
Institute’s strategic priorities over the 2008
-
2013 pe
riod.


That our services are in demand is manifested by the preliminary results of a global needs
assessment for trained water managers, scientists and engineers, indicating that technical,
managerial and scientific water capacities in the developing world

have to be raised by 50
percent in Latin America and the Caribbean, by 200 percent in Asia and up to 300 percent
on the African continent in order to meet the Millennium Development Goals. Unless a
significant rise in capacity building/knowledge managemen
t is made to close this gap,
sector organizations and agencies will be unable to meet the development targets for the
management of water infrastructure and services required. In order to provide for this rise
in capacity building/knowledge management, the

Institute will have to adapt and expand
its services and modes of delivery in the future.



This plan was developed over a period of several months beginning in early 2007. The
content of this plan benefited from several other processes undertaken in
implementing
the objectives of the Institute’s first strategic plan 2005
-
2007, including the
recommendations of the accreditation process, the research plan, the committee on
innovation in education, and a revised financial system which allowed closer trac
king of
income and expenditures as per departmental workplans. A one
-
day brainstorming
session was held in early 2007 involving a cross
-
section of staff from the Institute.
Subsequently, a small drafting team including membership from the Rectorate, Academ
ic
Board, the Management Team, the Partnership for Water Education and Research
(PoWER) and the Committee on Innovation in Education was named. Additional input
was sought from the Executive Committee of the Governing Board, the Institute’s
Personnel Counc
il, the Secretariat of the IHP, and the administrative staff of the Institute
during the first half of 2007. Selected staff members were also asked to serve as “cold
readers” once several versions were vetted by the drafting team. Finally, the original
bra
instorming group provided a final review of this document.


The present strategy presents the short and medium
-
term ambitions of UNESCO
-
IHE
under the following five strategic priorities:




UNESCO
-
IHE medium term strategy 2008
-
2013, June 2007

4

1.

UNESCO
-
IHE will implement the global
partnership

for education, res
earch and
capacity building/knowledge management in water and environment (as agreed
during the round table meeting March 2006)
1
.

2.

UNESCO
-
IHE will continue to provide world
-
class
education

programs in the
area of water and the environment.

3.

UNESCO
-
IHE will c
ontinue to
generate new and developmentally relevant
research

and thinking that spans the scope of the entire water cycle, the results of
which will be influential in setting the global water agenda.


4.

UNESCO
-
IHE will continue to build on its experience in
providing high quality
and demand
-
responsive
capacity building/knowledge management services

for
water sector organizations, universities, and research institutes.


5.

UNESCO
-
IHE will invest in the quality of its
staff

and will allocate adequate
financial
resources

to support the implementation of this strategy.

The ambitious nature of the objectives outlined in this strategy indicates that we remain
fully committed to our primary activities of post graduate water education, research and
capacity
-
building
in developing and transition
-
economy countries in the spirit of the
Millennium Development Goals and the legitimate aspirations of the Member States and
our partner organizations.





1

The Roundtable on the Future of UNESCO
-
IHE was jointly convened by the UNESCO Director General
and the Minister for Development Cooperation of the Netherlands at UNESCO Headqua
rters, March 2006.
All UNESCO Member States were invited to attend this gathering.



UNESCO
-
IHE medium term strategy 2008
-
2013, June 2007

5

1. Introduction


The 31
st

UNESCO General Conference endorsed the establish
ment of the Institute and
approved the Statutes in August 2001. The Seat Agreement, Cooperation Agreement,
Operational Agreement and the Special Financial Regulations for the Institute were all
completed by March 2003. The Institute became operational in J
uly 2003 with the arrival
of the new Director and the appointment of the 13
-
member Governing Board.


The main objective for UNESCO to invite IHE into the Organization was the world
-
wide
reputation of the Institute in water sector education and capacity bu
ilding/knowledge
management. UNESCO was interested in an Institute to assist in coordinating the
increasing number of UNESCO
-
affiliated Category II water centers
2
, and reinforce its
commitment to provide tangible contributions in one of its priority areas:

water. The
Netherlands saw an opportunity for the Institute to flourish as part of the UN system,
especially in the context of the UN Decade: Education for Sustainable Development, the
Millennium Development Goals, and also supporting one of its ODA prior
ities of
providing practical know
-
how regarding integrated water resources management. It was
felt by all involved that these objectives would be better addressed through a world
-
class
education institute in the context of the United Nations and simultaneo
usly improve the
opportunities for the Institute to serve the world community.


The initial aim of the Institute was to maintain the high level and quality of output
(students, research, capacity building/knowledge management projects) as before its
incor
poration into UNESCO. As a result, the ‘functional autonomy’ model was
developed, allowing UNESCO
-
IHE to operate in a relatively independent manner from
UNESCO Headquarters, based largely on its 46
-
year track record as a Dutch Institute,
while contributing

to the overall objectives and strategies set by the General Conference
of UNESCO.
In order to remain effective and efficient in the implementation of this
mission, the Member States agreed that UNESCO
-
IHE must focus on a limited number
of objectives. Addi
tionally, it was decided that the Institute would operate in an
entrepreneurial and extra
-
budgetary fashion; meaning that it would not be included in the
regular program and budget of its parent organization.


UNESCO
-
IHE is a unique institution as the larg
est post
-
graduate integrated water
management training facility in the world in terms of the number of graduates, and the
only unit in the United Nations system with the authority to confer accredited MSc and
PhD degrees (the latter in collaboration with s
elected Dutch Universities) in 14
specializations in water science and engineering, environmental science, water
management and municipal water and infrastructure. One of the comparative strengths of
UNESCO
-
IHE is its focus on a balance between engineering

and other natural and social
science disciplines. Since its founding as a Dutch Institute in 1957, the Institute has
graduated more than 13,600 people from 162 countries at the Masters level as well as 67
PhD research fellows. Approximately 98% of the Ins
titute’s graduates return to their



2

UNESCO
-
IHE is a Category I institute, meaning that it is an integral part of UNESCO. Category II water
centers are national/regional water centers that operate under the
auspices of UNESCO.



UNESCO
-
IHE medium term strategy 2008
-
2013, June 2007

6

country of origin to assume positions of greater responsibility, 87% of whom remained
active in the water sector 10 years after graduation.


Research is a vital component of UNESCO
-
IHE’s mission in addressing issues of the
global water agenda. In particular, the research activities of the Institute contribute to the
overall knowledge base concerning the water environment, and therefore to its o
ther
primary activities of education and capacity building/knowledge management. Both the
applied and empirical scientific research of the Institute is increasingly carried out in
collaboration with its network of partner institutions throughout the world.



That our services are in demand is manifested by the preliminary results of a global needs
assessment for trained water managers, scientists and engineers, indicating that technical,
managerial and scientific water capacities in the developing world hav
e to be raised by 50
percent in Latin America and the Caribbean, by 200 percent in Asia and up to 300 percent
on the African continent in order to meet the Millennium Development Goals. Unless a
significant rise in capacity building/knowledge management is

made to close this gap,
sector organizations and agencies will be unable to meet the development targets for the
management of water infrastructure and services required.


The first Strategic Plan for 2005
-
2007 was aimed at bringing the Institute more in

line
with UNESCO technical priorities and timeframe to programmatically bridge the role of
it functioning as a post
-
graduate education institute and the educational arm of the IHP,
and to set a course adjusting the education and research efforts to the ne
w institutional
context and the legitmate aspirations of the Member States.


These were ambitious goals, necessitating many programmatic adaptations and it is not
an overstatement to note that, while remaining true to its core mission; the Institute has
g
reatly improved since joining UNESCO in mid
-
2003. This is a result of internal changes
to the educational programs, administrative policies and management structure set out in
the 2005
-
2007 Strategic Plan. Additionally, a number of institutional and themat
ic
changes relevant to the Institute
-

in the Netherlands education structure, in UNESCO and
in the Member States
-

have directly impacted the context in which UNESCO
-
IHE
functions and fulfills its mission. More emphasis was placed on social science and
hu
manitarian approaches to address water in both course materials and as part of our
capacity building/knowledge management and partnership activities including law,
economics, gender, governance, stakeholder involvement in decision processes,
transparency a
nd accountability.



The main goals of our first Strategic Plan have been met. Today, we offer four, fully
accredited 18
-
month MSc programs, comprising 14 specializations in Delft, having
successfully stood for accreditation in 2006.
3

The Institute has bee
n recognized as part of
the SENSE Research School, a Quality Management System (QMS) has been
implemented and a substantial effort was made in developing an online learning program
based on both existing and new course modules. We completed the staffing pl
an for the



3

Full accreditation for all academic specializations offered at UNESCO
-
IHE has been receive for the 2008
-
2012 period from the Netherlands Ministry of Education.



UNESCO
-
IHE medium term strategy 2008
-
2013, June 2007

7

Professors and they prepared a Research Plan. We have completed our first business plan,
a companion document to this strategic plan and one that provides a roadmap for
operationalizing this strategy. We now have an integrated annual work plan,
a
rejuvenated Academic Board and Management Team and a staff development appraisal
procedure for all staff as well as a more integrated financial tracking system, all new
since joining UNESCO. An external evaluation of UNESCO
-
IHE, headed by the
Ministry of

Education and covering the period since joining UNESCO in mid
-
2003 was
also completed in the first half of 2007.


The Ministry for Development Cooperation (OS) evaluated our project portfolio in 2007,
and as a result changed the way our research and capa
city building/knowledge
management activities are funded. Replacing a project
-
based funding structure with what
is referred to as programmatic cooperation, improved both financial stability and
predictability to the education, research and capacity buildin
g/knowledge management
efforts of the Institute and allowed us to make a substantive input to the ODA objectives
of our host Country. The roundtable on the future of UNESCO
-
IHE was jointly chaired
by the UNESCO Director General and the Dutch Minister for D
evelopment Cooperation
in March 2006. At that meeting the UNESCO
-
IHE Partnership for Water Education was
launched, inviting Member States to provide fellowship support to participants from
developing countries via voluntary contributions to our Fellowship
Trust Fund;
admittedly an effort that has yet to produce the anticipated results. Finally, we conducted
an in
-
depth analysis of our educational programs and the need for greater flexibility
through the work of the Committee on Innovation in Education (CIE)
; a concept that will
set the stage for what the Institute will look like when the current planning period is
concluded at the end of 2013. That we have made substantial progress cannot be denied,
yet much remains to be done


new challenges leading to new

opportunities is how we
choose to view the future.


2. Vision and Mission


UNESCO
-
IHE envisions a world in which people manage their natural water resources in
a sustainable manner and in which all sectors of society, particularly the poor, can enjoy
the

benefits of basic water services. UNESCO
-
IHE will contribute to achieving this
vision by generating and sharing knowledge. UNESCO
-
IHE will be among the top
-
tier
knowledge institutions serving the future water leaders at all levels of technical and
profess
ional expertise.
4

This will be achieved in partnership with key regional academic
centers through education, research, capacity building/knowledge management, standard
-
setting and policy forum functions in a development context.


Hence, within UNESCO’s ed
ucational and scientific mandates, the mission of the
Institute is to:





4

UNESCO
-
IHE offers formal post
-
graduate MSc and PhD degree programs as
well as a number of short
and tailor
-
made courses for professionals and technical staff at any level depending on the agreed
-
to terms
of reference.



UNESCO
-
IHE medium term strategy 2008
-
2013, June 2007

8



Strengthen and mobilize the global educational and knowledge base for integrated
water resources management; and



Contribute to meeting the water related capacity building/knowledge ma
nagement
needs of the developing countries and the countries in economic transition.


3. Context and General Orientation



3.1 The UNESCO Institutional Context and Focus


UNESCO
-
IHE is a Category I Institute, making it an integral part of UNESCO. The
Director and Deputy Director (Rectorate) respond to the Director General (DG) through
the office of the Assistant Director General for Natural Sciences (ADG
-
Sc), and works
most

directly with the Director of the Division of Water Sciences, who also serves as the
Executive Secretary of the International Hydrological Progamme (UNESCO
-
IHP).


The UNESCO
-
IHE organizational structure is shown below.

The academic and
administrative staff of the Institute are seconded by the IHE Delft Foundation. The annual
work program and budget of the Institute is approved by the Institute’s Governing Board,
after comments from the IHE Delft Foundation Board.





UNESCO
-
IHE contributes to the overall education and science strategies of UNESCO.
The strategies of UNESCO
-
IHE are further developed in the context of the concerned
po
licies of the wider United Nations, and those of the host country and principle
financier, the Netherlands. Although they are different in practice, these policies prove to
be mutually supportive. From the United Nations, the Institute takes guidance from
its
principal poverty eradication policies as defined in the Millennium Development Goals,
the World Summit on Sustainable Development, the Commission on Sustainable
Development and the International Hydrological Program of UNESCO (IHP). As far as
the host

country is concerned, the Institute also takes guidance from the respective
policies of the Ministries for Development Cooperation (BZ/OS); Education, Culture and
Science (OCW); Transportation, Public Works and Water Management (V&W);
Economic Affairs (EZ
); Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV); and Housing,
Spatial Planning and the Environment

(VROM).




UNESCO
-
IHE medium term strategy 2008
-
2013, June 2007

9

The 2008
-
2013 UNESCO Medium
-
Term Strategy projects a strategic vision “focusing on
themes and areas where UNESCO will make a difference through purpo
seful, strategic
action in all its fields.” That statement implied a continuation of an underlying principle
of the previous medium term strategy (2002
-
2007), that “UNESCO could not be all
things to all people.” The current UNESCO strategy gives priority t
o Africa and gender
equality in all five of its main objectives: (i)
attaining quality education for all
, (ii)
mobilizing scientific knowledge and science policy for sustainable development
, (iii)
addressing emerging ethical challenges, (iv) promoting cult
ural diversity and intercultural
dialogue, and (v) building inclusive knowledge societies through information and
communication.


While all of these objectives relate in some fashion to the Institute’s programs, the first
three will impact UNESCO
-
IHE most

directly. Fourteen strategic program objectives
state how the five main objectives will be implemented in a results
-
oriented fashion
leading to measurable outcomes.


UNESCO has also taken a lead role in the Decade for Education for Sustainable
Development

and the Decade for Action: Water for Life, both of which add focus and
urgency to the Institute’s Medium Term Strategic Plan and annual work program. A
particular challenge for UNESCO
-
IHE is to add a postgraduate water education
dimension to the UN Decade
: Education for Sustainable Development. There is also a
growing recognition of the institutional and human challenge to meeting the MDG’s; that
unless a quantum leap in capacity building/knowledge management is made,
governments will be unable to meet the

water and sanitation goals agreed
-
to by 2015.


3.2 The UNESCO
-
IHE Institutional Context and Focus


the Partnership for Water
Education


The ongoing process of developing a strategic outlook to the future catalyzed the Institute
to organize a ‘Round Tabl
e on the Future of the UNESCO
-
IHE Institute for Water
Education’ in March 2006, at UNESCO Headquarters. This event presented a
comprehensive and consistent framework for participation in and funding of education,
research and capacity building/knowledge ma
nagement programs of UNESCO
-
IHE to
the Member States, and provided the framework for the development of the Strategy


the
UNESCO
-
IHE Partnership for Water Education (PWE). Although the objective of
increasing financial support for the long
-
term has not be
en realized yet, we continue to
work towards diversifying and stabilizing the Institutes financial basis as well as
generating other substantive project or research partnerships with Member States.
The
present aim therefore is to position the Institute to
better address the international agenda
concerning water, as part of the overall UNESCO and UN
-
wide efforts through the PWE.


Short Term Goals:


Each year the Institute awards some 200 MSc and 10 to 15 PhD degrees. It also trains
about 300 professionals t
hrough short courses, provides institutional assistance to dozens
of education institutes and water sector organizations, and contributes some 200 scientific
publications annually. In January 2007, the Institute had a staff of 155 people, 94


UNESCO
-
IHE medium term strategy 2008
-
2013, June 2007

10

academics and
the balance administrative personnel. A virtual alumni platform maintains
communication with more than 9,000 UNESCO
-
IHE graduates. The short
-
term goals are
to meet the growing demand for capacity building/knowledge management services,
increase the impact
of research, further strengthen the critical mass of experts to grow and
improve the present academic programs, and stabilize the funding of the Institute. These
goals are based on several considerations:



There is an increasing emphasis on water sector dev
elopment as a result of the
Millennium Development Goals, and decision taken in the UN system, IHP, the
development banks and donor countries.



There are continued human and institutional capacity shortages in the water
sector, particularly in developing a
nd transition
-
economy countries that inhibit
effective operation of water sector investments.



We have strengthened our commitment to gender balance in the professional
water marketplace.



There is increasing support for good governance, transparency, stakeholder
involvement and greater accountability as fundamental to the MDGs and a critical
part of our sustainable future.



The expectation for continued demand from the target countries for
the Institute’s
educational programs and their specializations is realistic (out of 1,400 applicants,
an average of 200 are finally admitted to the programs annually).



The demand from the target countries to provide capacity building/knowledge
management s
ervices for their knowledge institutions and water sector
organizations is increasing.



The need for a sizeable applied research program required to maintain academic
excellence, state
-
of
-
the
-
art knowledge transfer mechanisms, and meeting the
expectations o
f the Member States in delivering the best education and capacity
-
building services available is fundamental.


Medium and Long Term Perspective


UNESCO
-
IHE in 2013:


Implementing the strategic objectives contained in this plan will result in the Institute

being quite different in 2013 than it is today. The medium and long
-
term perspective will
see UNESCO
-
IHE strengthen its network of partners from all sectors of government and
civil society through implementation of the UNESCO
-
IHE Partnership for Water
Edu
cation


delivering education, research and capacity building/knowledge management
services at its home base and elsewhere, in partnership with implementing agencies and
knowledge institutions around the world. At present UNESCO
-
IHE cooperates with
about 4
0 institutional partners worldwide. Seventeen of these partners are working
together in the Partnership for Water Education and Research (PoWER), a program that
provides UNESCO
-
IHE with an opportunity to develop a partnership approach based on
mutual trust

and directed at joint education and research activities. This cooperative
framework underlies the UNESCO
-
IHE Partnership for Water Education. In this
partnership, the leading role of UNESCO
-
IHE will evolve:



The emphasis on MSc Education in Delft will shif
t towards joint MSc programs
and joint research programs with capable partner institutions in selected countries
and regions throughout the world. This will logically result in a somewhat
reduced number of MSc students who study exclusively in Delft, yet g
reater


UNESCO
-
IHE medium term strategy 2008
-
2013, June 2007

11

numbers of graduates world
-
wide in partnership with the Institute. This cadre of
mid
-
level professionals will continue to populate the ranks of the future water
leaders charged with long
-
term management of water infrastructure and training
facilitie
s.



Further development and use of e
-
learning and blended learning materials and
facilities for the delivery of knowledge to an increasingly variable group of
professionals and sector stakeholders will put UNESCO
-
IHE among the most
flexible of institutions
in terms of providing training at all levels in the water
sector (from the technicians to the most senior scientists, engineers and
managers).



Advancement in the research and capacity building/knowledge management
functions provided by the Institute. This
will lead to an increasing number of PhD
and Post
-
doctoral Research Fellows based in Delft and in mutually beneficiary
constructions in partner institutions in Member States, as well as faculty
exchanges and academic sabbaticals.



The standard setting func
tion of UNESCO
-
IHE, particularly in terms of post
graduate education and technical training at research centers will be intensified.
As a result we hope to assist other educational institutions improve the quality of
their educational offerings and researc
h capacity.



Involvement of UNESCO
-
IHE with international and intergovernmental water
sector policy initiatives will increase through staff of the Institute serving on the
editorial boards of highly ranked journals, on boards of water advisory facilities
s
uch as the World Water Council and its regional affiliates, and in providing
advice directly to governments and lending institutions on investments and policy
development and implementation in the water sector.



Staff of the Institute will make a concerted

effort to publish in international peer
-
reviewed journals with developing country colleagues and alumni.


UNESCO
-
IHE will shape the UNESCO
-
IHE Partnership for Water Education in
consultation with its present and prospective partners, UNESCO and its Member

States,
major donor organizations and other partners in the UN water family. The partnership
will be an open network of autonomous organizations that jointly address water education
challenges. The structure of UNESCO
-
IHE with its international staff, boa
rd and target
groups, its full integration into the UN system and its cooperation with the leading global
networks and organizations in the water sector is thought to be the ideal base for the
future development of such a global partnership.


Financial su
pport for the UNESCO
-
IHE Partnership for Water Education is expected
from UNESCO Member States and funding agencies interested in direct investments in
education and research in the water and environment sectors. The funding strategy invites
donors to comm
it themselves to support specific educational, research or capacity
building/knowledge management activities for a five year programming period after
which a donor conference will be held to discuss results, plans, and renewed funding.


A variety of flexi
ble and verifiable funding arrangements is foreseen so that Member
States, as funding entities, can organize their support in
-
line with their own program


UNESCO
-
IHE medium term strategy 2008
-
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12

priorities and contract needs. Funding states and agencies should contribute to the
UNESCO
-
IHE Fellows
hip Trust Fund or Special Account maintained in Paris, but may
also choose to fund partial fellowships (matching funds principle), or fund participants
from preferred countries and regions, or those addressing particular development
(thematic) issues.


3.
3 Challenges


The Challenge of Reaching the MDGs:
In September 2000, UN Member States adopted
the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Water is a critical
component of most of the goals and in particular of the goals to eliminate poverty and

to
ensure environmental sustainability. Clearly, reaching the Millennium Development
Goals continues to be an enormous challenge for several reasons including both a
shortage of financing and a lack of qualified professionals in priority areas.


Regarding water
-
related goals and targets of the MDG’s, UNESCO
-
IHE will focus on
increasing understanding of the relevance of UNESCO
-
IHE products for international
education, research and training with client governments by showing a direct relationship
to

UNESCO and IHP priorities, the MDGs, the UN Commission for Sustainable
Development process, and other international priorities.



Educational Challenges:
As stated by UNESCO forum on Higher Education, Research
and Knowledge, four background issues will
continue to affect higher education and
research in the coming years: (i) Globalization, (ii) Transformation of Higher Education
and Research, (iii) Research and Development Trends, and (iv) Changing Patterns of
Knowledge Creation.
5


While
Globalization

was once

viewed as mainly economic in nature, this phenomenon
has profound social and cultural aspects as well. Many universities are part of
international networks and the worldwide exchange of knowledge is facilitated by the
internet, the rapid increase

in international exchanges and the development of new
distance learning opportunities. The
Transformation of Higher Education and Research

is
also very apparent. Most of the expected increase in the numbers of higher education
students will be from develo
ping countries. This major change is forcing institutions
throughout the world to diversify to meet the increasing demand. As a parallel trend,
funding of higher education and research has not kept pace with the demand, and in many
countries public investm
ent in higher education and research has been declining.
Trends
in Research and Development

vary considerably on a global scale. Governments finance
most of R&D research activities in OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and
Development) countries,
while in the developing world, growing pressure to prioritize
objectives means that public funding for R&D work must be shared with other priority
investments. While public sector funding of research seems to be stalling, the private



5

UNESCO Education information available at:
http://portal.unesco.org/education/en/ev.php
-
URL_ID=26596&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html
, accessed on 7 July 2007.



UNESCO
-
IHE medium term strategy 2008
-
2013, June 2007

13

sector is becoming a m
ore active research partner. UNESCO has publicly supported R&D
efforts in order to safeguard the public good of research.


It is obvious that
Changing Patterns of Knowledge Creation

have significant
ramifications for university research and research
-
based

teaching, as knowledge
production and dissemination are increasingly being carried out in diverse contexts and
through new media. While universities have excelled at producing knowledge, they have
not kept pace with the need to reconfigure and provide fre
e access to new knowledge.
New patterns of knowledge generation integrate the engineering and natural science
disciplines with those of humanities and social sciences. The shift in knowledge
production is also affected by the advances in new Information an
d Communication
Technologies (ICT), and has obvious implications for research due to the expanding gap
in ICT capacity between industrialized and developing countries.


Global Change Challenges

-

Cities all over the world are facing a range of dynamic
glob
al and regional pressures.
Climate change

is predicted to cause significant changes
in precipitation and temperature patterns, affecting the availability of water and extreme
events. In addition, p
opulation growth and urbanization

are forcing rapid change
s leading
to a dramatic increase in high
-
quality water consumption while the discharge of
insufficiently treated wastewater has detrimental effects on the aquatic systems. Also, the
existing
infrastructure is aging and deteriorating making it more difficul
t to
maintains
minimum levels of service. All these global change pressures pose
t
echnological,
financial and institutional challenges for the future.




UNESCO
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IHE medium term strategy 2008
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14




The challenges noted above have led the Institute to organize its research e
fforts under
five thematic thrusts:




Water security

relates to maintaining a balance between water availability,
demand and quality. It involves protection against floods and droughts, wise use
of water resource and safeguarding access to and the quality
of water services.



Environmental Integrity

addresses the balance between human development and
the quality of the natural resource base. Central issues include equitable allocation
and use of natural resources, pollution prevention and control and the wis
e use of
aquatic ecosystems.



Urbanization

and problems related to the pressures on local governments for
expanding and modernization of services and infrastructure related to water
supply, treatment and distribution, wastewater collection and treatment, an
d solid
waste engineering and management.



Water management & governance
focuses on decision processes in water
resources management and on adequate and innovative institutional forms that
enhance accountability and public participation, from the local sca
le and the
watershed to the basin scale and beyond.



Information and communication systems

address the absolute need for effective
use of information and communication technologies in monitoring and acquiring
Global Water Issues:
Few would argue against the widely held belief that the world is facing a wate
r crisis, both
in terms of the state of the resource itself, but also in terms of the needs for professionals to develop and manage
the sector now and into the future. The complexity of this issue can be characterized by the following points:
1




Water is in
creasingly defined as a fundamental human right, essential for progress and dignity on an
individual and community basis. Everyone should have sufficient quantities of quality water


affordable,
physically accessible and safe.



One billion people do not
have safe drinking water and 2.6 billion do not have adequate sanitation.




Water
-
borne diseases are responsible for 80 per cent of illnesses and deaths in the developing world,
killing a child every eight seconds.



Floods accounted for more than two
-
thirds

of people affected by natural disasters in the world in the last
ten years, but only 15 per cent of deaths. In contrast, famine killed 42 per cent, but accounted for just
four

per cent of economic damage over the past decade.



In the next two decades, wate
r use will increase by 40 per cent. By 2025 nearly two
-
thirds of the world's
population will live in regions where water supplies are under stress, where consumption outstrips
supply.



An estimated 300 percent increase in the number of trained water profes
sionals is needed in Africa if the
continent is to meet the sustainability context of the MDGs. Asia must increase it trained persons by
nearly 200 percent and Latin America and the Caribbean by 50 percent.



The increasingly important role of women in solvi
ng the world water crises is now widely recognized,
but still under realized.



Water is cross
-
cutting to each of the MDGs as it is fundamental to all aspects of poverty reduction
-

gender, governance, transparency in decision
-
making, capacity enhancement, s
takeholder involvement
and accountability.



Agriculture consumes 60 to 80 per cent of the fresh water resources in most countries. It takes 3,000
liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of rice and 16,000 liters to produce a kilogram of beef.

________

1 World Water Development Report 2: (2006)
“Water: a shared responsibility.”

World Water Assessment
Programme.



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-
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15

data, computer
-
based modeling, and decision supp
ort and knowledge
-
based
systems for integrated water resources management.


The challenge of ensuring that there are sufficient numbers of trained professionals is
being addressed by several programs supported by the Government of the Netherlands
(GoN) an
d other Member States through the Institute which are a direct consequence of
commitment to the MDGs. These comprise
inter alia

the Netherlands Fellowship
Program (NFP), the Partnership for Water Education and Research (PoWER), as well as
ODA
-
supported fel
lowships and projects undertaken in coordination with the Embassies
of The Netherlands and other Member States in priority countries. Jointly, these and other
initiatives aim to multiply the present efforts by our Institute and its partners in water
-
relate
d education, research and capacity building/knowledge management. Over time
specific education modules will be offered in partner institutions, as well as new and
innovative teaching methods developed and complemented with studies in Delft.



4.
Strategic Objectives


Strategic objectives are defined in order to be able to set a timetable and measure our
response to our vision and mission.


1.

UNESCO
-
IHE will implement the global
partnership

for education, research and
capacity building/knowledge mana
gement in water and the environment (as
agreed during the round table meeting March 2006).

2.

UNESCO
-
IHE will continue to provide world
-
class
education

programs in the
area of water and the environment.

3.

UNESCO
-
IHE will continue to
generate new and developmentally relevant
research

and thinking that spans the scope of the entire water cycle, the results of
which will be influential in setting the global water agenda.


4.

UNESCO
-
IHE will continue to build on its experience in providing h
igh quality
and demand
-
responsive
capacity building/knowledge management services

for
water sector organizations, universities, research institutes.


5.

UNESCO
-
IHE will invest in the quality of its
staff

and will allocate adequate
financial resources

to suppo
rt the implementation of the strategy.


Strategic Priority 1: Partnerships

UNESCO
-
IHE will implement the global partnership for education, research and
capacity building/knowledge management in water and the environment (as agreed
during the round table
meeting of March 2006).




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16

In the coming years, UNESCO
-
IHE will
provide leadership to the UNESCO
-
IHE
Partnership for Water Education that will play a leading role in water sector capacity
building/knowledge management on a global basis. This new Partnership
will be
integrated with and build on the experiences with the DGIS
-
financed PoWER program. It
will spearhead a concerted effort to serve the capacity building/knowledge management
needs underpinning the international water agenda by working in close collab
oration with
the partners to provide capacity development activities worldwide that strengthen existing
institutions and structures responsible for the training of water professionals. UNESCO
-
IHE will act as the leading information broker, innovator and ca
pacity builder for the
sector, which in term should lead to an increase in output and impact of the joint efforts
of the partnership.


To achieve this:


1.

The Institute will be the hub of the Partnership for Water Education and will
develop the membership
by inviting the participation of key partner organizations
and overtime merging this initiative with the PoWER (Partnership for Water
Education and Research) programme as detailed in the UNESCO
-
IHE Business
Plan. These organizations will include alumni of
the Institute who together
comprise one of the most important and powerful groups of water professionals in
the world, capacity building/knowledge management and knowledge institutes,
water sector organizations, (local) government organizations, Member Sta
tes and
private sector financiers. The membership will consist of high performers and
high potentials, and a regular review of the performance of the Partnership and its
members will decide the continuation of the membership.

2.

UNESCO
-
IHE will develop the Pa
rtnership such that it will have adequate
geographical coverage and complementary expertise.

3.

UNESCO
-
IHE will form strategic alliances with key parts of the UN including,
among others, the World Water Assessment Programme, the network of
UNESCO IHP Category

II water centers, the UNU Institute for Environment and
Human Security, and the recently established Capacity building/knowledge
management Secretariat of the UN Water Family


with the aim of improving the
quality and impact of its scientific contributi
ons to these international efforts.

4.

UNESCO
-
IHE will work in close collaboration with the members of the
Partnership and will jointly develop and offer up
-
to
-
date capacity
building/knowledge management services that respond to the opportunities and
changin
g demands of the water sector. Flexibility is an important characteristic of
the Partnership and its members, and a requirement for the Partnership to achieve
the status as a leading water sector capacity building/knowledge management
group.

5.

The Institute
will strengthen existing partnerships and develop new strategic
partnerships with leading water sector capacity building/knowledge management
organizations at the international, regional and national levels. Where opportune,


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17

these partnerships can merge wi
th the UNESCO
-
IHE Partnership for Water
Education.


Strategic Priority 2: Education


UNESCO
-
IHE will continue to provide world
-
class education programs in the area of
water and the environment.


The Institute will further develop opportunities for post
graduate training and “life long
learning” throughout the professional life of the students and partners. This will lead to a
new definition of scholarship, balancing discovery and transmission as well as the
integration and application of knowledge. The r
egular programs will also provide greater
flexibility with regard to: access, content, breadth, depth, and duration of programs,
means of delivery and examination options. This commitment will necessitate a new
approach to curriculum development taking int
o account interdisciplinarity and flexibility
of choice, but in a coherent system which allows for modularization and credit transfer,
both to and from the Institute. Advanced ICT will have a major role in this regard,
resulting in a fundamental restructur
ing of the ways in which teaching and learning
objectives are developed and delivered. UNESCO
-
IHE will place a high a value on this
by ensuring that all staff are adequately trained and that leaning spaces are redesigned in
accordance with these objectives


The Institute will continue inviting leading international experts, with strong links to
external stakeholders who influence both policy and practice, as guest lecturers. Hence,
these experts will as well participate in appropriate advisory and standard
setting bodies,
and contribute to government committees, national and international advisory councils
and boards for industry. The Institute’s teaching experience will supply a continuous
input to its education programs and
increase opportunities for inter
national mobility of
UNESCO
-
IHE students.


To achieve this:


1.

The Institute will ensure that the educational programs remain at the forefront of
our technical disciplines and that they continue to meet the changing needs of our
participants and employers
. In this respect we will increase the opportunities for
participants to engage with external organizations, benefit from industrial and
professional placements and gain recognition for work
-
based learning


2.

UNESCO
-
IHE will continually refresh existing prog
rams in ways that
complement our research and hence build our international reputation as a leading
provider of research
-
informed education.


3.

The programs offered at the Institute will be taught by leading international
experts who will have st
rong interac
tion with external stakeholders that influence
practice and policy.




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18

4.

The Institute’s programs will link with other top international institutions to give a
suite of truly international programs. To achieve this we will establish
partnerships with prestigious universities and institutes across the world to deliver
‘transnati
onal education’ and to increase the international mobility of our
participants


5.

UNESCO
-
IHE will provide opportunities for life
-
long learning leading to a new
definition of scholarship.


6.

The Institute will provide greater flexibility with regard to: acces
s, content,
breadth, depth, and duration of education programs, means of delivery and
examination options.


7.

Our programs will adopt new approaches for course delivery. Modern ICT will
have a major role in this regard, resulting in a in a fundamental restr
ucturing of
the ways in which teaching and learning objectives are developed and delivered
together with our partner institutions. UNESCO
-
IHE will place a high a value on
this by ensuring that all staff are adequately trained and that leaning spaces are
re
designed.


8.

The Institute will maintain excellence in teaching with high quality student
support services thus providing high quality student experiences from the time of
first enquiry, throughout their education at UNESCO
-
IHE and then as Alumni of
the In
stitute.


9.

UNESCO
-
IHE will develop a Group for Academic Practice and Student Learning,
within the existing management structure, in order to promote research informed
pedagogical practice, support professional development opportunities for staff,
and quality enhancem
ent in relation to learning, teaching and assessment and the
broader student learning experience.



Strategic Priority 3: Research


UNESCO
-
IHE will continue to generate new and developmentally relevant research and
thinking that spans the scope of the en
tire water cycle, the results of which will be
influential in setting the global water agenda.


UNESCO
-
IHE is committed to apply its research findings and insights to
influence
practice and policy by informing advisory and standard setting bodies in the w
ater sector
in both government and civil society organizations
and to combine intellectual insights
with the development practice and policy. These will be defining characteristics of the
research efforts undertaken by the Institute. The Institute will als
o strengthen the research
training environment for the next generation of water scientists and researchers, by
providing PhD students with high quality training and teaching opportunities and
ensuring their intellectual integration into the Institute.



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19


Th
e Institute will promote innovative research through cross
-
institute research centers.
These research centers will be embedded into the UNESCO
-
IHE Partnership for Water
Education so that they can draw effectively on all relevant expertise, overcome
discipl
inary boundaries and nurture effective external partnerships in order to deliver
internationally significant outputs in areas. The partnership will have an increasing
membership of leading universities, government bodies and industry where the nature of
th
e partnership will reflect the pattern of complementary strengths and contributions to
global strategic goals.


To achieve this:




UNESCO
-
IHE will develop and maintain a coherent institute
-
wide research
agenda that will be based on a limited number of prio
rity areas. This will enhance
our visibility and may help to positively influence global policy
-
making. In
developing and maintaining this agenda we will respond to demands from the
South as well as from the North.



The Institute will collaborate with partners when conducting research, both with
partner institutions in developing countries and countries in transition and with
partners in developed countries, including the host country. Such collaborative
efforts are l
ikely to generate results that will positively influence our knowledge
fields, our educational programs as well as the professional practice.



The Institute will seek to be one of the main training grounds for the next
generation of water scientists and re
searchers, by providing PhD students with
high quality training and teaching opportunities and ensuring their intellectual
integration into the institute. The supervision and guidance of research
-
students
will be continually updated to reflect advances in
research and access to
comparative data, and the range of specialized training options will be enlarged
through relevant research school membership.



UNESCO
-
IHE will further promote innovative research across cores (whether
located in one discipline or acr
oss and between disciplines) through inter
-
core
working groups.



We will develop a research culture and create Institute
-
wide research leadership.
As part of this commitment, the Institute will also study the possibility of joining
additional research schoo
ls in the Netherlands and in other countries that will
benefit both our visibility as a research institution and offer our partners in
research greater access to peer
-
reviewed international journal publication outlets.



We will allocate sufficient resource
s (time, money, facilities) to research, and
increase their effective use.



Administrative procedures that unnecessarily inhibit research activities and
research output will be identified and reviewed. Similarly, where possible
incentives will be created to

enable staff to conduct research and to present and
publish research papers.



We will secure new interdisciplinary and collaborative research projects and
improve the number and success of all grant applications.




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20


Strategic Priority 4: Capacity
-
Building


UNESCO
-
IHE will continue to build on its experience in providing high quality and
demand
-
responsive capacity building/knowledge management services for water sector
organizations, universities, research institutes.


In the coming years UNESCO
-
IHE will pro
vide capacity building/knowledge
management services to the members of the UNESCO
-
IHE Partnership for Water
Education in a concerted effort to establish a Partnership that operates at the forefront of
water sector capacity building/knowledge management. Th
e institute will function as a
standard
-
setting body for water sector capacity building/knowledge management. In
collaboration with its partners, the Institute will carry out capacity building/knowledge
management programs for water sector organizations, u
niversities and research institutes
at national and regional levels.


The institute will develop and maintain effective relationships and share experiences with
other water sector capacity building/knowledge management partnerships, networks,
institutes,
programs and projects. Research will be carried out with the aim to develop a
scientific basis for water sector capacity building/knowledge management and to share
the findings within and outside the Partnership. The Institute will promote a high level of
visibility of water sector capacity building/knowledge management at national and
international fora, and will organize international policy debates on developments and
issues in the water sector.


To achieve this:


1.

UNESCO
-
IHE will, on a continuous basis,
provide capacity building/knowledge
management services to the members of the UNESCO
-
IHE Partnership for Water
Education in a concerted effort to establish a network that operates at the forefront
of water sector capacity building/knowledge management.


2.

The Institute will function as a standard setting body for water sector capacity
building/knowledge management and will carry out assessments and provide
organizations with advice on the development and maintenance of suitable
standards for the various cap
acity building/knowledge management functions.


3.

In collaboration with our partners UNESCO
-
IHE will analyze local and regional
capacity building/knowledge management requirements and develop initiatives to
provide capacity building/knowledge management serv
ices.


4.

The Institute will, in collaboration with our partners carry out capacity
building/knowledge management programs for water sector organizations,
universities and research institutes at national and/or regional levels.




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21

5.

UNESCO
-
IHE will develop and ma
intain effective relationships and share
experiences with other water sector capacity building/knowledge management
partnerships, networks, institutes, programs and projects.


6.

The Institute will document experiences and implement research on the capacity
building/knowledge management programs of UNESCO
-
IHE, the Partnership and
others, with the aim to develop a scientific basis for water sector capacity
building/knowledge management and to share the findings within and outside the
Partnership.


7.

The Institut
e will promote a high level of visibility of water sector capacity
building/knowledge management and the related activities of the Partnership at
national and international fora.


8.

The Institute will organize international policy debates on developments and

issues in the water sector.




Strategic Priority 5: Staff and Financial Resources


UNESCO
-
IHE will invest in the quality of its staff and will allocate adequate financial
resources to support the implementation of the strategy.


UNESCO
-
IHE will develop
and maximize the potential of its administrative and
academic staff through an effective training and support framework. This will include
formal structured and sustained training and development programs to enable all staff to
respond to the changing dema
nds of the higher education environment, including the
specific demands related to its function as a global learning centre for water. Specific
requirements related to efficiencies in operation and level and quality of outputs will be
reflected in the mana
gement and administration.

In order to maintain its relevance and potential as a leading global water education
institute UNESCO
-
IHE will increase the number of long
-
term fellowship agreements
with UNESCO Member States, special development foundations and
other international
organizations. The main vehicle for this will be the UNESCO
-
IHE Partnership for Water
Education and the funding opportunities that the partnership will create. In addition the
position of UNESCO
-
IHE within the Netherlands Organization f
or Higher Education will
be maintained and strengthened including the level of the base subsidy from the ministry
of Education, Culture and Science (OCW). Efforts will continue to diversify and generate
increased support to the Institute from UNESCO Member

States through the Partnership
for Water Education.

To achieve this:


In the field of human resources development:




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22

1.

UNESCO
-
IHE will foster an environment where staff feels understood, supported
and rewarded, and where flexibility is encouraged in a contin
uously changing
environment (new ways of teaching, diversification of tasks, combining tasks,
etc).


2.

The Institute will maximize the potential of existing staff through an effective
training and support framework. This will include formal, structured and
s
ustained training and development programs to enable all staff to respond to the
changing demands of the higher education environment (not only on academic
issues but also on didactical skills, individual skills for training need assessment,
institutional
analysis, efficient project management, administrative and
programming skills, etc).


3.

UNESCO
-
IHE will maintain quality education, research capacity
-
building and
student service programs by continuing to attract the very best staff from across
the world by

promoting the institute through marketing and other strategies to
ensure that it can attract talented staff at all levels.


4.

The Institute will respect and reward excellence at all levels, and will provide a
well
-
formulated development plan for all staff
within the Institute. We will
reward not only quality academic outputs in education and research but also
relevant outputs in capacity building/knowledge management and project
activities (incl. commercial successes), and management. We will create adequat
e
resources to implement these individual plans.


5.

The Institute will promote temporary positions for staff from developing country
partners to build capacity through common research and other shared activities.
Existing networks such as PoWER and WETNET wi
ll be given priority
consideration in this regard. We will promote more educational and research
activities in partner countries in the same fashion.


6.

The Institute will facilitate short
-
term and temporary positions for external people
such as post
-
docs,
visiting and sabbatical academics, etc. through our MOU
partners and create resources to implement this concept.


In term of financial sustainability:


1.

UNESCO
-
IHE will continue to implement the Partnership for Water Education
launched in March 2006 at UNES
CO Headquarters. Ensuring the continuity of the
functions of the institute necessitates better use of the existing resources as well as
diversifying and stabilizing the funding base of the Institute. We will do both,
understanding that financial resources
development is clearly a specific activity
that needs a professional approach.




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23

2.

UNESCO
-
IHE will generate an increase in the number of long
-
term fellowship
agreements with Member States and international organizations supporting
education and research acti
vities.


3.

UNESCO
-
IHE will identify opportunity and generate initiatives, such as special
accounts and support funds with several international and UN organizations
(UNESCO, UNEP, UNICEF, UNDP, etc).


4.

The Institute will continue to promote the UNESCO
-
IHE
fellowship trust fund in
particular through private corporate donations (corporate social responsibility)


5.

The Institute will diversify the funding base of the Institute through cooperation
agreements with ministries of education from priority countries. W
e will continue
to promote an increase in the present level of the base subsidy from the ministry
of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) in line with our academic aspirations.
We will investigate eligibility for several research funds in Member States (e.
g.
NOW and STW in The Netherlands, National Science Foundation in the USA,
etc.).


6.

UNESCO
-
IHE will develop the programmatic approach to funding projects on a
multi
-
year basis to support governmental efforts to fulfill their development
objectives. In parti
cular, such an agreement will be implemented with the Dutch
government to reorganize our existing OS/DGIS
-
supported projects as agreed to
in mid
-
2007.


7.

UNESCO
-
IHE will work in a creative way with our partners to identify funding
mechanisms that benefit all
.


8.

UNESCO
-
IHE will improve efficiency in all aspects of our management and
administration, including, but not limited to:


a)

Increased standardization of work flows and definition of level of
services keeping in mind that support services facilitate the
primary
process of the Institute. In particular, we will continue to develop staff
capacity to become better project managers and leaders.

b)

Analyze whether the existing organizational structure fits the needs of
our principle clients (with the highest effic
iency).

c)

Analyze which support tasks are essential to the core activities and re
-
enforce them as deemed necessary, as well as how support tasks can
better support our cores functions.