AWA Congress in Kampala: Investing in training!
(The News N° 21 - January 2011)
During the 15th Congress of the African Water Association, held in Kampala, Uganda, from 15 to 18 March 2010, the International Network of Water Training Centers - INWTC - invited participants to an International Workshop on "Professional training in water and sanitation". The event was organized with the French Development Agency.
The activities were divided into two parts:
- Training as a tool for modernization of Water Services;
- Vocational training is a profession.
The various presentations gave practical examples from the experience of African Water and Sanitation companies: MOWASCO and KIWASCO in Kenya, NWSC in Uganda, and of Training Centers, KEWI (Kenya), 2IE (Burkina Faso), ONEP (Morocco) and IOWater (France).
Capacity building of the staffs of water and sanitation utilities is more than ever a priority, if we do not want that water becomes one of the limiting factors of development in many countries of the World.
The time lost is becoming disturbing and unprecedented mobilization is essential for humanity to win the water battle and prepare the future.
Let’s support capacity building projects regarding water in the world!
Training in the water sector is a profitable investment!
(The News N° 17 - February 2010)
The States, water utilities and water companies are making significant investments every year in drinking water supply, sanitation and irrigation infrastructures in the World, but to make sure that the infrastructures will last and are ope rating well and to improve service quality, abilities in management, operation and maintenance are required from the exe - cutives, team leaders or employees and workmen in the water sector and are still insufficient.
The main involved parties are becoming more and more aware of the stakes for water utilities to have better human resources management and they assess the significant needs for vocational training. These needs are huge; there are tens of thousands of agents at all levels, but mainly at low hierarchical level, who must work in water management in the World and for whom training is necessary. Efficiency of drinking water supply and sanitation utilities and of community irrigation facilities cannot be achieved without a significant professional capacity building of the staffs.
The donors’ efforts, which aim at integrating a vocational training component into their project approach, surely allow improving the situation, but are not enough to guarantee sustainability and correct operation of the infrastructures.
In each country, this practice even induces a bursting in training activities and a lack of cross vision of professional education to meet the needs of the water sector.
The upgrading of skills requires coordinated and lasting action at the national level to organize the activities to be carried out:
- - identifying the training needs,
- - drafting an effective training offer;
- - mobilizing resources for carrying out these training activities,
- - evaluating and following up the effects of the training activities,
- - creating financial resources that can sustainably support training.
Many training centers in the World cannot reach a sufficient professional level to propose a lasting training offer, which is wor - sened by case-by-case commitments from the donors. The training activities thus lack support and progressiveness. They are not supported enough by political will in most countries.
Professional training in the water sector is thus essential, profitable and a trade.
On the basis of these findings, the water training centers, which exist in va rious regions throughout the world, organized themselves by creating in December 2008 the International Network of Water Training Centers (INWTC).
A meeting of the Network Bureau was held on 7 and 8 December 2009 in Rabat to define prio rity actions:
- Organization of a seminar on vocational training at the Congress of the African Water Association (AWA) in Kampala on 17 March 2010;
- Opening of the “ricfme.org” website and regular publication of the electronic newsletter of the Network;
- Organization of a seminar at the end of 2010, which could be held in Ouagadougou on the topic of the regional offer of vocational training in Africa and assessment of its impact on the sustai - nability of the investments.
The Bureau adopted the “Declaration of Rabat” which lays down the INTWC doctrine to reinforce vocational training in the water sector worldwide.
Creation of an international network of Training Centers for Water Professions
(The News N° 16 - December 2008)
With the support of the French Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the French Development Agency, the International Office for Water has studied since 2007 the possibility of creating an International Network of Water Training Centers gathering its counterparts in the world to develop exchanges on their experience and to promote the development of the skills of professionals of the water sector as a prerequisite to achieving the Millennium Goals.
An inventory of the existing training centers was carried out, as well as an analysis of the regional cooperation initiatives in the field.
An assessment of the needs and expectations of these centers was made at the same time through a questionnaire.
The received answers illustrate a significant diversity between the training centers, as regards their statutes, their size and their organization, their training activities or the number of trainees. The analysis of these replies allowed better describing the training centers and highlighting differences and similarities, but it also clearly underlines the current lack of partnerships between them and the weakness of the international cooperation programs dedicated to them.
Based on the outcomes of this survey, the first constitutive meeting of the International Network of Water Training Centers (INWTC) took place on 19-20-21 November 2008 in Paris and Limoges at the invitation of the French Authorities.
The exchanges especially dealt with the financing of the training system and with topics of potential interest for the future activities of the new International Network:
- Promotion of professional training and reinforcement of the relations with the main international donors supporting the development of the water sector;
- Regular organization of seminars and workshops on training needs and methods;
- Development of exchanges of experience between the partner centers on their educational tools;
- Organization of technical visits and study tours;
- Reinforcement of the training centers’ promotion, thanks to communication tools, such as an Internet portal, a network newsletter, etc.;
- Creation of working groups for joint projects development.
A visit of the French National Water Training Center - CNFME - in Limoges and La Souterraine was organized in order to supplement exchanges with practical experience in the field. This Constitutive Assembly ended with the signing of the "INWTC Charter" which made official the will of the 16 founder centers to pursue exchanges and gave the Network operating method up to the next General Assembly to be held in Morocco in 2009.