Australian Awards Fellowships recipients from Nepal and Philippines visit Brisbane
Nepal AAF: Water supply and sanitation sustainability through integrated water management
15 Nepali delegates from the Department of Water Supply and Sewerage (DWSS) visited Australia for 4 1/2 weeks in September and October 2015 for training and capacity building in water supply and sanitation. DWSS faces many challenges related to increasing vulnerability of water resources and competing demands for water supplies due to a growing population and climate change. Specifically, it has to deal with water scarcity and degraded water resources; the difficulties of cost recovery; limited coverage of services, particularly sanitation; and an aging infrastructure resulting in high water losses.
IWC’s customised 4-week program introduced the Nepali fellows to remote service delivery in the Northern Territory, urban water management in Toowoomba and regional governance arrangements throughout South East Queensland. The results were new insights and techniques to meet Nepal’s 2017 targets for total coverage of water supply and sanitation, and to inform future aspirations for water resource management.
“What I learned during this training will be applicable in water supply, sanitation and sewerage in Nepal, which will certainly raise the technology and service levels. I will apply the new knowledge and skills in project planning, design and implementation and combine it with improved community participation for an integrated approach. This will also help improve the bilateral relationships of the two countries [Nepal and Australia] by sharing knowledge and each other’s culture,” said one participant.
Nepali AAF recipients
Philippines AAF: Disaster risk reduction for community resilience and safeguarding livelihoods in the Philippines
20 Filipino delegates visited Australia for four weeks in October and November 2015 to build capacity in disaster risk reduction using a plan-prepare-respond-recover framework. Typhoons, floods, landslides and droughts are climate-based hazards that frequently impact local and regional communities and economies and the social fabric of the Philippines. There is a need to improve community-based capacity and multi-agency governance to be better prepared for such disasters.
The delegates were introduced to industry leaders throughout South East Queensland to understand the adoption of flood risk management principles with a focus on land use planning initiatives, community awareness and resilience, and disaster management arrangements. Nine days traveling through Far North Queensland also showed the delegates first hand the impacts of cyclones Larry and Yasi and how the Australian tropic region plans, prepares, responds and recovers during the annual cyclone season.
During their visit, IWC helped facilitate a number of change projects that will generate lessons throughout the program that will eventually affect change. Change projects include the integration of data sets to inform forecasting and warning systems; behaviour change programs to build resilience in informal settlements; integration of disaster risk management and integrated water management into land use planning; and the creation of an integrated water management post-graduate course to develop future water leaders in the Philippines.
Filipino AAF recipients on their field trip
Australian Awards Fellowships are funded through the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) for short-term study, research and professional attachment programs in Australia. The next round of funding is expected to open in early 2016 for fellowships hosted in the 2016-17 financial year. Further information, including eligibility, priority areas and program requirements, will be made available on DFAT's website.
Published 28 November 2015.