Challenge

Climate change, increasing water demand, increasing demand for food and other products, increasing intensity of drought and flood events are just a few examples that show that the pressure on our planet and our natural resources is increasing. Moreover, projections for the future show that this pressure is only likely to increase further. This indicates that it is becoming increasingly important to collect more (scientific) knowledge about the sustainable use of our natural resources and to share this knowledge as much as possible with as many people and organizations as possible. It is therefore important that sharing knowledge leads to the training of people who can further develop and disseminate this knowledge. The term “Capacity Building” is often used for this.

Sharing knowledge, however, is a profession in itself. People and organizations often differ in terms of substantive knowledge, and experience undertaking tasks such as collecting, sharing and using (open source) data, models and techniques can differ enormously per country and per organization. Any organization providing a training therefore needs a thorough understanding of the subject, the problem definition and the background of the participants. This shows that a project involving capacity building often requires very specific preconditions.

FutureWater approach

Capacity Building is something in which FutureWater has gained extensive experience. FutureWater has a unique combination of scientific knowledge combined with consultancy work in (agri-)hydrology, climate change, remote sensing and flying sensor related techniques. Because of this combination, FutureWater is very capable of making complex substantive scientific concepts and techniques understandable and insightful for a very diverse audience. In recent years, FutureWater has given training courses in various countries around the world to train local organizations in the use of, among others, hydrological (SPHY) and water allocation models (WEAP), the use of remote sensing techniques (Google Earth Engine) and the use of Flying Sensors. The audience at these training courses is often very varied, from policy makers to experts.

The training courses that FutureWater provides are therefore often tailor-made, depending on the questions of the organization concerned and the knowledge and background of the participants in the training courses. In general, a unique manual is developed for each training, in which both theory and substantive assignments are combined. The training courses provided by FutureWater are often on-location in the country of the requesting organization, but “eLearning” is also something that FutureWater has been using more and more in recent years. FutureWater considers sharing knowledge to be of paramount importance and considers it equally important that the transferred knowledge is actually being used by the participants after a training. Therefore, training sessions are almost always provided with the use of open source software and data. Next to that, FutureWater often provides a period after the training in which the participants can ask questions to the trainers of FutureWater. Both the use of open source products and the option to ask questions after a training makes it easier for participants to actually put the acquired knowledge into practice.

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