Managing Water in Urban Settings in Indonesia

Managing Water in Urban Settings in Indonesia

The International WaterCentre (IWC) and Griffith University collaborate to deliver an Australia Awards in Indonesia short course program to Indonesian water professionals.

Managing Water in Urban Settings in Indonesia

Indonesian water professionals on site visit in Malang

To assist strengthen capacity within the Indonesian water sector, Griffith University and the IWC are jointly delivering an Australia Awards in Indonesia short course program, Managing Water in Urban Settings. This capacity development program has been tailored to support 28 Indonesia water professionals in adopting transdisciplinary approaches to tackling complex urban water challenges.

The program has been designed with three stages – pre-course (in Indonesia), Australian program delivery and post-course (in Indonesia). Earlier this month IWC Program Manager Declan Hearne and Senior Project Officer Pablo Orams travelled to Malang, Indonesia for the pre-course phase of the program. The trip included three days of lectures, workshops and site visits with the 28 Indonesia water professionals.

Pre-course visit to Malang

Participants were introduced to the history of urban water reform in Australia and, by using the OECD water governance principles, assessed the challenges, successes and relevance to the Indonesian urban water sector context. Participants utilised systems thinking approaches to assess the complex challenges and opportunities within Indonesian river basins and urban areas to deliver safe water, considering its economic, social and environmental implications.

A site visit was also conducted with the Malang water authority to gain insights into how the Malang PDAM (water utility) is addressing issues relating to reducing non-revenue water and in applying the concepts of transparency, accountability and participation to improve water governance and customer engagement. Malang PDAM has progressively invested in the development of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) systems to allow improved decision-making support, task allocation and customer relation management.This includes the development of a series of mobile applications (apps) for filing reports, tasking jobs, and tracking water safety indicators.

A central component of the program is the ‘change project’ process whereby participants working in transdisciplinary groups, define a vision of change to address sector challenges, and design a return-to-work action plan to contribute to this vision. Participants’ change projects will be refined during their visit to Australia in November.

The program

The Government of Indonesia has set the target to deliver universal access to clean water to all Indonesians by 2019. This presents a formidable challenge for all levels of government however, as rapidly expanding urban areas coupled with underperforming water utilities are constraining progress. Success will require cooperation across all tiers of government and among water sector companies and other models of service delivery.

The program will facilitate an exploration of sector reform processes, benchmarking, sharing of ideas and collaborative planning among stakeholders to assist in meeting the 2019 target. The program seeks to acknowledge and build on the work already undertaken by key ministries and support provided through the World Bank and other development partners.

Key components of the program include:

1.     Management and governance approaches for enabling effective water services

a. Water management in urban settings

b.     Strategies for inter-governmental management

c.     Building common understanding of roles and responsibilities among water sector organisations

d. Improving corporate culture and good governance among water sector stakeholders

2.    Utilising alternative water sources

a. Opportunities to use alternative water resources

b. Infrastructure investment for water resources

3. Managing non-revenue water

a. Solutions for managing non-revenue water

b. Work planning for management of urban water

4. Capacity to influence water sector leaders

a. The role of leadership in the water sector

b. Practiced approaches and tools to influence change

What next

In early November the group will travel to Brisbane for two weeks, where they will learn more first-hand about Australian practices in urban water management, and draw lessons and identify challenges relevant to the Indonesian context and the delivery of safe water for all.

More information

For more information on the IWC – Griffith University Australia Awards in Indonesia short course please contact:

Declan Hearne

Program Manager

T +61 7 3028 7600

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