Building capacity towards a better water future

FETWater Phase III is a knowledge transfer and capacity building programme linking learning resources and training capacity to integrate water resource management expertise in areas where they are needed most.

FETWater Networks

The FET Water program focuses on the six thematic priority (networks) areas namely water infrastructure, water monitoring, water planning and implementation, water regulation & requirements, water use, service & sanitation, Institutional management & goverance.


The International Hydrological Programme (IHP) is one of the six intergovernmental programmes (ISPs) of the United Nations system and the only programme devoted to water research, water resources management, and education and capacity building. Since its inception in 1975, IHP has evolved from an internationally


The First two phases of the FETWater programme focused on the development of post graduate modules within the Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) discipline. During the first two phases seven networks were established. Each of the seven networks developed modules and materials for training courses targeted primarily at postgraduate level. Although these training initiatives covered essential elements of capacity building and skills development for the IWRM sector, uptake has been limited as the FETWater courses have not as yet been linked to sector skills planning and delivery systems for professional and career development.

Against this background, the FETWater phase III programme was developed in order to facilitate improvements in the following areas:

Linkages with formal skills planning and career and professional development processes.

Establishing a FETWater Capacity Building and Training framework for courses registration with the SETAs (and SAQA) and guidelines for networks with regard to skills planning and delivery to improve course currency, uptake and funding.

The proceedings of the 7th FETWater annual general meeting held in August 2011 confirmed the value of the programme and the challenges for phase III. Phase I had established the IWRM agenda and addressed effective cooperation and the transfer of knowledge. Phase II supported the evolution of training networks and demonstrated the potential of network the mechanism in knowledge transfer. The challenge outlined for phase III related to addressing the relevance, viability and sustainability of the programme to ensure continued support beyond donor funding. It was suggested that the FETWater Phase III proposal focuses on improved alignment with sector skills requirements, certification of training outputs, and the marketing of services and products.

The baseline for FETWater Phase III focused on the following priorities:

Establishing occupational/Job profiles to develop a credible methodology to consult with water sector to identify training needs at all levels and facilitate sector skills planning.

Establish mechanisms for FETWater course registration with the SETAs and Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) based on the framework.

Map Career paths to existing FETWATER “qualifications” and develop a framework for occupationally-directed programmes to facilitate registration of FETWater courses.

Develop a FETWater guideline for course planning and registration.

FETWater course offerings have thus far been largely driven by an academic, supply-side, knowledge transfer agenda. To improve currency and sustainability of FETWater offerings in the Capacity Building and Training environment, an occupationally directed focus aligned with SETA and QCTO requirements was required for course planning and registration.
For FETWater training to have currency in the workplace, training offerings must be linked with occupational framework for the water sector. Only when courses are linked to a specific occupation can registration proceed.

Following the FETWater National Planning Workshop, held on 22-23 January 2015, it was agreed that the following 6 components of the water chain would be considered during Phase 3 of the programme namely:

Water Resource Planning

Water Monitoring and Assessment

Water Resource Infrastructure

Regulatory Requirements

Institutional Management and Water Governance

Water Infrastructure Network

Under each component approximately 4 to 6 job/occupation clusters were identified, each of which was considered as an important position requiring dedicated and accredited training.
The following are the objectives of FETWater Phase III

Create Opportunites for learning & sharing knowlege.

Strengthen human capacity development in the water sector through networking.

Link with other committed national, regional and international institutions or networks to share and transfer knowledge

Identify and prioritise training needs of the country.

Support & compliment existing capacity building initiatives, programmes & activities related to water management.

Stimulate new initiatives to address the short-term and long-term capacity and training needs of the South African water sector.

Strengthen partnerships and collaboration in South Africa Development Community (SADC) and Africa in human capacity building, water management & innovation.

Strengthen regional academic institutions and other human capacity development service providers through networking.

Develop future generation of experts in water science and management, particularly from previously disadvantaged groups.

Develop a sustainability model beyond Phase III & classify communication process ensuring DWS approval is secured for publication where necessary.

FETWater Co-Ordinators

Each FETWater network is coordinated by a network coordinator, with the possiblity of rotation of network coordinators to build the necassary capacity. The network coordinator is responsible for the network proposal, the indentification of the experts with the same long-term vision, capacity audit, the development of business and ensure exection of work plans, the mangement of finacial support from FETWater, and regular progress reports to the FETWater Implementing Agent.
The International Hydrological Programme (IHP) is one of the six intergovernmental programmes (ISPs) of the United Nations system and the only programme devoted to water research, water resources management, and education and capacity building. Since its inception in 1975, IHP has evolved from an internationally coordinated hydrological research programme into an encompassing, holistic programme to facilitate education and capacity building, and enhance water resources management and governance. In this regard, IHP has been the stimulus of strong interactions between scientific research applications and education. IHP facilitates an interdisciplinary and integrated approach to watershed and aquifer management, which incorporates the social dimension of water resources, and promotes and develops international research in hydrological and freshwater sciences. IHP also applies its know-how in marshalling top scientific talent from around the world to support activities aiming toward better management of the earth’s water resources. The IHP approach emphasizes the following: learning by doing; free exchange of information, ideas and expertise through workshops, seminars, symposia and publications; collaboration among specialists in the natural and social sciences; and dialogue among planners, decision makers, local populations and international communities of scientists and engineers. Therefore, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) operations through IHP have potential to reach into the field where people live on a daily basis facing numerous water problems.

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