Showcasing innovative water solutions at the 2016 UQ Water Forum
The 2016 UQ Water Forum showcased a series of lightening presentations and panel discussions around resolving water challenges within current and future research. The free, two-day forum brought together researchers from across the University of Queensland to engage with key invited external guests from government and industry to discuss current and emerging water impact issues and policies, and sustainable and innovative responses.
Below is a highlight of the IWC staff and students who participated in the event.
Special panel – Federal election result: Implications for water - Mark Pascoe
IWC CEO Mark Pascoe joined a lively opening panel to discuss the impact of the federal election results on water management in Australia. Mark spoke on the responsibility of States to manage their water and the lack of leadership at a national level on water issues. All of the major parties had presented policies on various aspects of water management and mentioned their support for the National Water Initiative, but none had offered clear frameworks for monitoring its implementation. There was a general frustration expressed by all present at the lack of an election result and discussion centred on many State-based issues, including policies for the development of food production in Northern Australia.
Supporting evidence-based WASH in Schools – Declan Hearne
Senior Project Officer Declan Hearne discussed how the IWC, with partner Live and Learn Environmental Educators, is supporting a participatory approach to monitoring, analysing and planning for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in schools. Declan’s presentation highlighted the value of monitoring of WASH in schools (WinS) and he suggested that a moderate short-term investment in participatory processes to support evidence-based WinS will increase the sustainability of WinS and associated health and wellbeing outcomes. This process, he concluded, builds bottom-up sectoral capacity which can facilitate top-down support towards targets under SDG 6.
Participatory Action Research (PRA) to foster local action – Dr Dani Barrington
IWC Research Fellow and MIWM Lecturer Dr Dani Barrington presented her research on how PRA can be used to foster community and local stakeholder actions to improve WASH in South Pacific informal settlements. She described examples of self-determined solutions to WASH challenges in a Fijian community and how these types of actions can significantly improve the quality of life in communities and empower individuals to act. Dani highlighted the importance of reflexivity in achieving development goals; it is essential that WASH practitioners are able to adapt projects to suit community needs, aspirations and capabilities, and not become fixated on following some checklist of instructions that may not be relevant in all scenarios.
WASH monitoring data and outcomes in Fiji – Kylie Milligan
IWC Project Officer and MIWM Candidate Kylie Milligan presented her findings from her Master of Integrated Water Management Final Project on WASH monitoring data and outcomes from an Integrated Water Management perspective. Using qualitative data collected by the ADRAS project “Fostering demand and understanding sustainable WASH marketplaces”, and conducting semi-structured interviews in Suva in April 2016, Kylie explored the research question: What influence does monitoring data and the process of its collection have on WASH actors, activities and outcomes in Fiji? She discussed her findings on the dynamics of formal and informal institutions in Fiji and their role in communicating and facilitating monitoring efforts between communities and government stakeholders; drawing out insights geared to achieving SDG 6 within a Fijian context.
For more information on the UQ Water Forum visit: GCI UQ Water Forum 2016
To get in touch with our team regarding their presentations or related projects,
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