The MIWM capstone achievement – Final Project

The MIWM capstone achievement – Final Project

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A key feature of the MIWM program is the capstone final project. For this the IWC team work with individual participants to help them create their final project design by providing career and professional development advice, and by providing access to the IWC’s global network of contacts. This enables the IWC to offer MIWM participants the opportunity to develop tailored, placement-based final projects that will build their skills, knowledge and network connections in ways specific to each participants’ individual career goals.

Every year MIWM final projects are undertaken on a diverse range of topics from developing and piloting new multi-stakeholder planning processes for managing wet weather sewer overflows in Melbourne and understanding how to better manage the transition between emergency response to development in Fiji, to assessing the effectiveness of report cards as devices for communicating science and engaging stakeholders in the context of protecting the Great Barrier Reef. Every year the diversity and quality of the projects submitted stands out, with every report a major piece of work and learning for participants and in many cases, key platforms from which they can progress their careers.

2017/18 Final Projects

This year we wanted to take the opportunity to acknowledge and profile some of the excellent work that our MIWM participants have submitted in the form of their final project reports, and to also acknowledge some similarly high quality, innovative work from last year. Knowing who to include in the profiling was tough as we have had hundreds of final project reports in over 45 different countries since we started the program in 2008.

But to give you a sense of what our participants can and do here is a short description for a small selection of MIWM final projects …

Safaa Aldiwari (full-time, Palestine) undertook her project with Dr Cara Beal of the Griffith University Cities Research Institute and delivered a report called “Barriers and Opportunities for Managing Water Demand Through Behaviour Change: An Indigenous Community Perspective.” Her project involved  research which aimed to identify the primary determinants of household water consumption in an Australian Indigenous community to develop evidence‐based water demand management policies and strategies that might be implemented by the water service provider. The research applied behaviour change theories and methods to investigate the opportunity, ability and motivational determinants affecting household water consumption and conservation in a community (Hammond Island) that is currently experiencing high water demand with potential future shortages.

Ngoc Gianh Dinh (full-time, Vietnam) undertook his project with Dr Brian S. McIntosh of the IWC and Daniel Rodger, Director of JB Pacific and produced a report called “Proposing and Assessing Solutions to Flood Risk Mitigation Based on the Combination of Integrated Water Management and Flood Risk Management Principles.” Giang’s project was developed to support the Mossmanshire local government to improve resilience to floods and involved flood risk and vulnerability mapping and an assessment of different kinds of structural and non-structural measures for managing risk. The study combined the principles of Flood Risk Management and Integrated Water Management to adopt and assess measures to achieve flood risk mitigation, and proposed and assessed a range of different measures which may enable the region to reduce the exposure and vulnerability of the affected population to flood hazard.

Sarah Watkins (part-time, Australia) undertook her project with Dr Brian S. McIntosh of the IWC and her employer, Melbourne Water on “Managing wet weather sewerage spills: A risk-based, outcomes-focused approach.” The project brought together the principles of Integrated Water Management to develop a framework for adopting an alternative approach to wet weather sewer spills management. The framework was developed, piloted and refined with the aim of providing much needed guidance to the water industry on how and when to adopt an alternative approach, and to ensure consistency and transparency in best-practice management for achieving the desired outcomes for waterways and communities.

James Morschel (part-time, Australia) undertook his project with Jeff Camkin and Susana Neto and produced a report called “A comprehensive monitoring, evaluation, reporting and improvement framework for environmental water recovery: Efficiency Measures in the Murray-Darling Basin.” The project considered how to effectively monitor and evaluate water efficiency programs intended to rebalance water use between consumptive and environmental uses in complicated and contested contexts. The project used IWM as a lens through which to identify and avoid challenges including monitoring and evaluation pitfalls, managing the unintended consequences of water efficiency interventions and navigating conflict over the reallocation of water from consumptive to environmental use.

Madeleine Greenlee (full-time, United States) undertook her project with Poh-Ling Tan of the International River Foundation and produced a report called “The Effectiveness of Report Cards in influencing decision making and behaviour change: A comparative study of SEQ and the GBR.” Report cards have become a popular method for communicating complex science about the monitoring of environmental and ecological health into simple, transparent ideas, using a graded scale from A-F. Madeleine’s project investigated whether report cards are effectively influencing decision-making and triggering behaviour change in communities and other stakeholder organisations, and based on this to recommend ways that they might be improved as communication tools. Her project did so in the context of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and South-East Queensland (SEQ) Healthy Land and Water report cards.

Kyle Wang (full-time, United States) undertook his project with Dr. Christian Urich of the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities and Assoc. Prof. Steven Kenway of the University of Queensland on “Utility value of water data for strategic planning of metropolitan water supplies.” Kyle’s project was an empirical study which examined how water practitioners involved in strategic planning can capture additional values from integrating different water data sets. The project revealed gaps in available water data, and limitations of industry guidelines for operating within existing governance frameworks. Kyle’s work then concluded by teasing out implications for future open water data standards.

Page Perry (full-time, United States) undertook her project with Helen Johnson in Bangkok with the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and produced a “Gender Assessment of Water Security in the Lower Mekong Region.” The project provided a critical desktop review to characterise the current state of knowledge of the gendered impacts of water security in the Lower Mekong Region (LMR) as a consequence of climate change, and population growth. Page identified studies and examples from the region, generated a snapshot of the status of the existing research on water security in the LMR and suggested further research to fill the gaps revealed.

Oscar Viera (full-time, Chile) undertook his final project with Shirin Malekpour and Karen Hussey on “Testing Adaptive Planning Capacity in Practice: The Case of Chilean Water Utilities.” In this project Oscar assessed the capacity of water utilities in Chile to adopt long-term planning approaches capable of coping with uncertainties such as climate change, rapid urbanisation and changing societal values such as adaptive management. Based on this assessment Oscar then proposed how existing capacities could be enhanced, and alternative approaches that could be used instead of current planning practices.

Antonella Vagliente (full-time, Argentina) undertook her project with Dr Dani Barrington on “Linking relief, rehabilitation and development of WASH actions in Fiji: An IWRM perspective on Fiji’s WASH Cluster challenges and opportunities for LRRD.” Antonella’s project aimed to understand how to better manage the transition from short-term emergency disaster relief to long-term development (usually referred to as ‘’LRRD” – Linking Relief, Rehabilitation and Development) in Fiji, and in particular how to do so with regard to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). The project produced recommendations in terms of the coordination and collaboration mechanisms that can help Fiji’s WASH Cluster (FWC) improve this transition. 

Showcasing MIWM Final Projects

Beyond the specific projects, this year we are particularly excited as our MIWM participants will have the opportunity to publish in a dedicated special issue of New Water Policy and Practice (http://www.ipsonet.org/publications/open-access/water-policy), a journal which is designed to be a platform for emerging water leaders and thinkers globally. Edited by Professors Jeff Camkin and Susana Neto, several MIWM final projects have been published along with some other major assessment pieces by MIWM participants. Being able to showcase the diversity and quality of the work produced during the MIWM offers a great way to disseminate new ideas and practices internationally, and to raise the profile of the participants themselves.

Master of Integrated Water Management

Every year the IWC awards a range of scholarships to high-calibre candidates who clearly demonstrate potential as future water leaders.

Applications to apply for one of our competitive scholarships are now open for both international and domestic candidates.

Find out more here.

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