15 Years of Cap-Net UNDP – Part 1

This year Cap-Net UNDP celebrates its 15th birthday! As part of this, we will collect a number of case studies from the previous 15 years highlighting achievements and milestones. Our first story focuses on a project implemented together with the Latin American Water, Education and Training Network, LA-WETnet, and Arg Cap-Net:

During our journey so far Cap-Net UNDP, our partner networks, members and international partners, have contributed significantly to changes on the ground through capacity development initiatives and knowledge management. One such initiative is the Continuous Distance Training Program on “Economic and Financial Instruments for IWRM” implemented together with the National Institute of Water – Center for Economics, Legislation and Water Management (INA-CELA), a member of Arg Cap-Net and partner of LA-WETnet. The course was designed to meet challenges identified in a survey conducted in 2003 by Arg Cap-Net. Based on the survey responses a course on financial instruments for IWRM was designed and delivered through an online platform, giving participants the ability to interact with each other and experts.

Thanks to new capacities developed through the course material, some of the course participants were able to design a project to optimize the distribution of water in the Bolo River in Cali, Colombia. The area had previously experienced problems with effective distribution of water from the river to the different required uses. Part of this issue related to previous failed attempts to establish a tariff system for the related services in the surrounding areas. The new project aimed to improve the conditions of coverage, continuity and access to water for all users by increasing the efficiency of the water resources management, as well as contribute to the recovery of the environmental flow in Bolo River through the reduction of pressure on the water resource.

The new capacities developed in the course enabled the project designers to effectively include interests from different sectors and user groups; to incorporate an economic evaluation and analysis for decision-making in the project; and to improve the transfer of knowledge from the project. Based on the key IWRM concepts taught in the course, special attention was given to including interests of all relevant sectors throughout the project – a crucial component contributing to the project’s success. Additional knowledge that was gained in the course and integrated in the project includes: A preliminary economic evaluation and feasibility study; a cost-benefit analysis; and the development of a well-functioning tariff system including both fixed rates and a binomial rates.

Through the course, the participants developed a new way of analyzing and solving problems related to IWRM, by incorporating tools for qualified decision-making in each step of the process. The Bolo River project is a great example of the impacts that can be produced through capacity development and knowledge transfers. ')}