Reorientation in the thinking of water professionals is important at all levels, as the ideas of IWRM have developed rapidly over the past twenty years. Water managers need to develop an understanding of the concept of IWRM, its potential benefits and how best to put it into practice. In addition, water professionals need to acquire skills to apply specific (often sectoral) management tools, make regulations, set up financing systems, etc. Professional training courses in such topics as social assessment, design and running participatory and gender sensitivity processes, dispute management and consensus building, institutional design, policy profiling, and work with the media can be valuable.

Training of water professionals is an important tool for capacity building and is necessary across the full range of water organizations. The necessary change in approach can be achieved through specially designed courses, through modification of university courses and on-the-job training programs. Specific ideas are as follows:

  • Providing specific courses on participatory approaches and gender awareness;
  • Encouraging multi-disciplinary training involving all kinds of water practitioners, including environmentalists, economists, engineers, social scientists and business leaders;
  • Making water management a part of advanced degree programs, in engineering and other faculties, such as economics, environmental sciences, biology, etc., or adding water as the main subject in such courses as MBA;
  • Developing modules for on-the-job training;
  • Developing modules to train trainers in new approaches and techniques;
  • Creation of short courses on water management for policy makers, aimed specifically at senior managers without technical water background;
  • Once formal training is completed, the concepts can be reinforced through a range of training activities (e.g. on-the-job training, short courses, e-learning, twinning arrangements, international short courses, etc.).

Many officials come from natural sciences or have engineering background, and need cross-disciplinary training, e.g. in communication, group interaction facilitation, accounting and program management and legal knowledge.

Переподготовка управленцев верхнего звена (по таким темам, например, как преимущества ИУВР и последние водные нововведения) может помочь в обеспечении наращивания потенциала в рамках всей организации и содействии тренингу нижестоящих сотрудников. Переподготовка без отрыва от производства является высоко эффективным инструментом обучения и катализатором изменений в крупных водных организациях.

Training of senior managers (e.g. in the advantages of IWRM or new water innovations) can help building capacities throughout their respective organizations and promote training of junior staff. On-the-job training is highly effective as a learning tool and agent of change in large water organizations.

The effectiveness of training programs can be increased if groups of people who regularly work together are trained together. Training of trainers requires extensive practical experience by the instructor but is a cost-effective capacity building tool.

Trainers do not require a high level of technical capability in such topics as how to construct GIS, develop explanatory models or select the best equipment, but they do need to understand the principles of institutional management.

Training of trainers

Given the external and internal conditions, IWRM should be implemented in the water sector of Uzbekistan in two stages. In this context, training should meet short- and mid-term goals. In short-term perspective, the training is to build capacities of the staff of water-management organizations for better fulfillment of their functions related to operation and maintenance of irrigation and drainage systems. For the mid-term, the training is to increase understanding of institutional aspects of IWRM.

Since currently there is the shortage of high-qualified trainers in the water sector, it is not a simple task to achieve the short- and mid-term goals. Especial concerns are about training in institutional aspects of water governance and management as this requires humanitarian thought.

Therefore, first, it is advisable to train trainers. To this end, a National center for water trainers could be established.

Preparation of trainers consists of several stages:

First stage

The national agency, which is responsible for preparation of trainers will develop and approve a national program of water sector professional development in the area of IWRM, which will cover also such aspects as establishment (enhancement), equipping and financing of a sustainable network of national training centers to ensure quality training of local trainers (at provincial and, further, at district levels).

Second stage

The national agency, which is responsible for preparation of trainers:

  • Develops criteria and the system of selection of candidates for local trainers, who, after training, will be able to deliver training at the local level.
  • Selects candidates and trains them in adult training methodology.
  • Selects potential lecturers from higher educational institutions, research institutes, NGOs, departments[1], etc. for participation in the training courses.
  • Evaluates the potential and abilities of the trained candidates for adult training.

[1] The experience of regional and national training indicates to a need for careful selection of lecturers and work with them since often the lecturers have no ideas about IWRM and read traditional lectures on their narrow specific subject (irrigation, land reclamation, law, ecology, …) without linkage to IWRM. National trainers should first focus attention of potential local trainers (lecturers) on a need to make their presentations in light of IWRM.

Third stage

The national agency, which is responsible for preparation of trainers, must:

  • Develop training materials, proceeding from national training needs, on the basis of the materials of regional courses and with account of local, regional and international experience in training: training modules, handouts, practical exercises, role games, multimedia presentations, etc. for modular training of target groups.
  • Approbate the developed resources and adapt them to the actual training context.
  • Organize preparation of local trainers, based on the developed training resources.

Fourth stage

The national agency, which is responsible for preparation of trainers, must conduct monitoring to:

  • Consolidate knowledge and skills of trained trainers and organize permanent training programs at provincial level.
  • Create the system of certification of trainers.

Measures to change approaches to training and re-training in the water sector

To eliminate the current personnel imbalance and in light of the ongoing land and water reforms, the following measures are proposed to change approaches to training and re-training of water professionals for adaptation to basin and integrated water resources management in the context of growing water scarcity.

Higher and special secondary educational establishments

As is well-known, there are few training centers and universities (and mainly in developed countries), education in which is oriented to servicing irrigation and to modern methods of operation of irrigation and drainage systems. As a rule, hydraulic engineers themselves from their practices learn O&M, multipurpose water use, environmental demand, water pricing, etc. Usually they are not appropriately prepared for work under conditions, where water management becomes more and more complex and requires IWRM.

Therefore, there is a need for a special faculty for preparation of water specialists, who will be able to manage water in the new context of basin and integrated approach.

Thus, it is important to organize retraining and training of qualified lecturers, who have theoretical and practical knowledge of water management. To this end, annual two-month courses for lecturers of higher and special secondary educational establishments will be advisable.

Permanent courses

For re-training in the water sector, it is necessary to organize permanent courses for::

  • Managers of BISA and ISA. For experienced managers, training can be held twice a year, with monthly duration of each course. The newly comers should be trained at the beginning of their labor activity during one month.
  • Mid-level staff of BISA, ISA, etc. For experienced managers, training can be held twice a year, with monthly duration of each course. The newly comers should be trained at the beginning of their labor activity during one month.

Training methods

The general approach for all water sector professional development methods is that builds and develops the entrepreneuring skills. This implies not only delivery of knowledge about IWRM simply but also training in how to further learn IWRM. Thinking outside the box should be facilitated and encouraged. The key training methods include role and business games that stimulate individual thinking.


Research shows that 90 % of learned material is gradually forgotten and the personnel applies only 10-20 % of learned knowledge.

Thus, post-training is needed. This is the system of work with personnel that supports positive training methods and promotes application of knowledge, skills and qualities acquired by trainees in their routine professional activity.

Post-training can be organized in the form of workshops, coaching, tutorship, and e-learning.

Author: Mirzaev N.N., SIC ICWC