Capacity Development of Future Water Leaders, Communities and Citizens


UNU-INWEH strives to strengthen the capacity of water sector stakeholders, in developing and emerging economies, to bridge the science-policy interface and conversion of research to knowledge to fill gaps that exist in water literacy. UNU-INWEH capacity development initiatives are solution-driven, include case-based learning, and are designed to help participants understand water challenges in the context of interlinking environmental, social, and political threats. The key objectives of the Institute’s capacity development effort are:

  • To promote a broader and more ambitious vision for capacity development and offer a platform to broaden outreach and engagement for global citizenship training with a focus on learning and teaching for water-related sustainable development.
  • To support and promote knowledge dissemination tools that can reach the populations most in need i.e. youth, women, and girls.
  • To generate and disseminate knowledge to create future water leaders and informed citizens and communities.

The overarching aims or the Project is to enhance focus on capacity development of scholars and stakeholders on up to date knowledge and learning that enables them to understand multifaceted water challenges and water-related SDGs, deploy the innovative digital technologies to deploy learning opportunities to address challenges specific to water education, advance gender equality within the water education sector, and successfully manage gaps and needs in building future water leader and informed citizens. In doing so, the initiatives and capacity development programs support high-quality research on pressing global water challenges, dissemination of information to different audiences, and enhancement of the visibility of the UNU at community and global scale.

Current initiatives and capacity development programs include:

  • In-house internships and externships (remote internships)
  • International and local Embedded Learning Programs
  • Graduate program “Water Without Borders,” in collaboration with McMaster University
  • Post-Doctoral Fellowships
  • On-line education interface, the Water Learning Centers (WLC) and its regional nodes in the Global South
  • Public Lecture series (Another Drop)
  • Webinars

The project will continue with current capacity development programs, adding additional elements and new content to some of them:

Water Without Borders (WWB), a collaborative graduate program between the UNU-INWEH and McMaster University, is designed to be undertaken alongside a graduate degree program at McMaster and is open to all graduate students in various faculties and departments.

In 2020, its delivery will be primarily via distant education mode.

Water learning Center (WLC) will be relaunched as a source of learning content directed to practicing professionals, researchers, and any interested organization or an individual wishing to upgrade their knowledge of the various water-related concepts and practices. The project will develop additional focused courses on specific topics of global importance.

New forms of internships will be explored and launched, such as “remote internships” (or “externships”) open for interested scholar from anywhere in the world.

2019 McMaster University Traineeship Student Programme scholars
Water Without Borders class of 2019-2020 visiting a water plant in Lima, Peru on the class field trip.
In-house training on GIS for Interns, ELE, and MUST scholars


McMaster University, Canada
Water Center for the Humid Tropics of Latin America and the Caribbean, Panama
Arabian Gulf University, The Arab Regional Water Learning Center, Bahrain
University of Nairobi, African Collaborative Centre for Earth Kenya
Asian Institute of Technology, School of Engineering and Technology, Thailand
Global Water Futures Program, Canada 
Future Earth Water Program – Sustainable Water Futures, Australia
Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, South Korea 

Examples of Capacity Development Programs and Related Outputs


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