- Research project
- – Western Pacific
Read the latest updates about the International WaterCentre, as well as contemporary water sector insights, water management news, and conversations with researchers, practitioners and students, from both Australia and abroad.
By Dr Andre Taylor On the 13th of October 2020, 43 IWC alumni who had completed the IWC Water Leadership Program (WLP) over the last 10 years participated in an online, half day workshop. The workshop provided an environment for alumni to reconnect with each other, reflect on the extent to which they are still managing their development as leaders, share valuable leadership resources, and plan what innovative activities they would like to tackle in the future. The workshop also included an interactive session on coaching skills for leaders which was led by IWC leadership coach, Wouter Lincklaen Arriens. Commenting on the success of the workshop, Dr André Taylor, the IWC’s Leadership Specialist, reflected that, “the workshop was tremendous. Originally we had planned to run this event as a face-to-face workshop in Melbourne, but we had to move it online. In retrospect, that adaptation was a ‘blessing in disguise’ as it enabled us to engage a broader audience to discuss the nature of future alumni activities. We now have a clear direction for these activities.” Highlights from the workshop included: · Using a live poll exercise to explore the leadership development activities that alumni are using after completing the WLP. For example, it was terrific to see that 79% of workshop participants “frequently” or “often” take opportunities to help others to build their leadership capacity (e.g. they mentor others). · The opportunity to share a wide variety of leadership-related resources (e.g. pod casts, books, communities of practice, videos) that alumni have discovered since completing the WLP. · The opportunity to provide alumni with access to up-to-date WLP resources (i.e. a set of 27 one-page summaries of key concepts are currently used in the program). · Planning future activities. For example, feedback from participants indicated strong support for routinely running half day, interactive, online workshops every six months to help alumni to continue to grow as water leaders.
19 November 2020
Did you know that 4.2 billion people do not have access to safely managed sanitation around the world?In 2020, the lucky ones amongst us have been enjoying our home toilets more than usual thanks to COVID-19 restrictions. What better chance to daydream of your next overseas visit? When you think about where to travel, will you be thinking about the quality of the hotel bathroom facilities? And what of the toilet facilities of surrounding communities? One IWC research project, Engaging corporate actors for inclusive WASH-at-work, is unpacking the real water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) situation in hotels and surround communities in Indonesia and Fiji. Whilst it has been hit hard by COVID-19 travel restrictions, Mandalika in Lombok (Indonesia) is tipped to be the next ‘big Bali’. It is an increasingly popular and rapidly developing tourism destination for domestic and international visitors. While tourists there enjoy excellent services, this is not necessarily the case for locals, with between 5-15% of the population in surrounding villages not having access to toilets at home. Solutions to address this gap need concerted efforts of government, communities as well as hotels who all have a role to play in delivering clean and healthy environments. To read more about this project’s work to develop Inclusive WASH-at-work approaches with hotels and other stakeholders for equitable development visit the project site. [caption id="attachment_3220" align="alignnone" width="668"] IWC's WASH project teams wish you a Happy World Toilet Day![/caption] NOTE: Banner image photo credit, Jax10289/istock via Getty Images.
By Brian McIntosh How on earth will we keep going? This is a thought that many educators in Australia are asking right now, about whether the programs they run will be possible to run next year or beyond. COVID-19 will be sticking around for a while and we’re certainly wrestling with this question at the International WaterCentre. How can we keep going? But rather than just accepting a struggle, how can we set in place the arrangements that will let us thrive? How can we adapt what we do to remain true to our founding mission ‘to change the way that people think and act to solve complex water management challenges?'
...whilst we are asking ourselves ‘how on earth will we keep going’ in this upturned COVID world, we are also looking keenly to how we can innovate, adapt and improve.In Australia, COVID-19, means that our international borders remain closed and even some of our internal state borders are closed or require expensive 2 week hotel quarantine periods once you have passed over them. Paying a $2000 or $3000 hotel bill for quarantine is a bit of a deterrent to inter-state travel one has to imagine. So, we need to think really differently about how we deliver the best transformative integrated water management educational experience within the constraints of not being able to travel much, if it all. 2021 will not be a normal year. 2020 has already been a year of rapid adaptation and far from normal delivery. April and May drove us to trial some innovations like the deliberate seeding of leadership behaviours to help our cohort glue together and support each other under lockdown. We ended up on a really fast sprint to online delivery and the creation of ‘Water Droplets’, an interactive online weekly series of guest speakers covering everything from blockchain water trading systems to community-driven urban stream restoration, to both help our students gain insights from some of the most exciting and experienced practitioners around, and to meet and talk with them. Sort of networking for professional development in an online COVID world way. We’re currently looking for ways to connect interested students to professional practice to enrich their learning further and to take the next steps in evolving their careers. 2021 will be a year of further change, but we don’t need to plan and do at the same time. We have a few months up our sleeves to plan and implement the changes we want and need for 2021. What are we thinking of?