Cap-Net Network Managers Meeting 2015 – Cartagena, Colombia

1.1The Cap-Net Network Managers and Partners Meeting 2015 started on Tuesday the 17th of November with an opening remark from The Director of AECID, Ms. Mercedes Flórez, followed by Mr. Damian Indij of LA-WETnet and Director of Cap-Net UNDP, Dr. Themba Gumbo. Hosted by AECID and Coordinated by LA-WETnet, this 4-day meeting brought all the Partner Networks and International Partners of Cap-Net UNDP on ‘Networking and capacity development: Response to advances in information technology’. Below follows a brief overview of the four days:

Day 1 Session 2: Mr. Damian Indij, the Coordinator of Cap-Net Virtual Campus as well as LA-WET-Net, shared his experience on the ‘Design and Delivery of Virtual Courses’. This session gave an insight on expectations and delivery timelines for organising an online course as well as points and comments by partners to further improve the efficiency in course delivery.

2.1Day 1 Session 3: In this session, which was coordinated by Ms. Yasmina Rais El Fenni, International Partners presented their organisations, main activities and potentials for Cap-Net collaboration.

Day 2 Session 1: Commenced with the ‘Marketplace’, where Partner Networks and International Partners ‘hunt’ for potential collaborations and partnerships. Coordinated by Mr. Damian Indij, this year’s Marketplace was very engaging with many potential collaborations.

Day 2 Session 2: Dr. Themba Gumbo, the Director of Cap-Net UNDP officially opened the Network Managers’ Meeting 2015 in Cartagena.

2.3Day 2 Session 2b: An interesting SWOT analysis by Dr. Joakim Harlin on ‘Networking in the IT era’ with various fruitful discussions on the utilisation of social media. Mr. Klas Moldeus presented basic skills and know-how for efficient communication strategy.
Day 2 Session 3: Serious Game session. The participants of the Network Managers meeting were introduced to a water management game, Aqua Republica. Mr. Gareth Lloyd from UNEP-DHI facilitated the session. The game features real-life factors, good practices and policies to decide who among the players that manages the water resource in the made-up country Aqua Republica the best.

Day 3 Session 1: Dr. Hong Chern Wern presented current state of engagement on social networks among the partner networks of Cap-Net UNDP, specifically focusing on websites, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and Google Plus. There were several comments and suggestion on social media engagement such as balanced usage with specific role and information to fit different types of region. Mr. Klas Moldeus then gave an overview of the latest Cap-Net projects in the area of ICT, including the Cap-Net mobile application as well as an online monitoring and evaluation platform, i.e. an “online MELP”.

3.3Day 3 Session 2: Discussion on new technologies and capacity development needs by Mr. Wangai Ndirangu. The discussions were facilitated by Dr. Aditya Bastola.

Day 3 Session 3: Discussions on New technologies and their use on the ground. How can networks realise the opportunities and meet challenges in the area? Coordinated by Prof. Nimal Gunawardena and Dr. Mario.

Day 3 Session 3: In her session “Are we well informed?”, Ms. Amel Azab stressed on the availability of facilities to obtain and gather data on water capacity building.

Day 3 Session 4: Dato Lim Chow Hock facilitated the discussions on Collaborative programmes. Interesting discussions on collaborative strategies was shared, and partner networks discussed concepts such as ‘tri-lateral partnerships’, collaborations with private entities and signings of Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs).

4.5Day 4 Session 1: The final day of the Network Managers’ meeting commenced with a session on the ‘Outcomes of the MELP: what did we learn? How to improve in 2016?’. Dr. Indika reported that network managers and coordinators overall enjoyed using new templates, resulting in an improvement of response rates. Some challenges were brought up by Network managers and coordinators, relating to time and impact factors. For example, some impacts might take place several years after the training instead of within a year, and this factor will affect and slow down the response rate as well as results of MELP. To reduce response time, some suggestions were made such as assessing potential impacts of participants before accepting/approving the entrance to a workshop.

Day 4 Session 2: The day commenced with the session ‘Achievements in 2015 and priorities for the upcoming year 2016’. The session was facilitated by Dr. Jean Marie, Dr. Carlos of REMERH-Mexico and Mr. Pieere Kabuya of CB Hydronet and Ms. Priscila of Cap-Net Brasil presented on their network’s achievement in the year 2015. During the discussion, network managers and coordinators stressed that the successful implementation of activities is depending on the support from partners, especially financial support.

Day 4 Session 3: This session focused on network work plans and core support and was facilitated by Ms. Yasmina Rais El Fenni.

Day 4 Session 3b: Dr. Joakim Harlin presented and discussed the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), specifically goal 6 focusing on water. Joakim gave an overview of the targets, as well as the many cross cutting goals for sustainable water management, and presented opportunities to address these goals in the Cap-Net strategy.

Day 4 Session 4: Mr. Ivan Pavletich, Finance Associate of Cap-Net UNDP, presented Cap-Net’s financial outlook for 2016. Due to restriction in budget, network managers and coordinators will have to explore external funding opportunities in addition to the core support.

4Day 4 Session 5: In the final session, Cap-Net’s work plan and fundraising plan for 2016 were presentated by Dr. Themba Gumbo and Dr. Joakim Harlin. In the discussion session, several topics were brought up including sharing of insights between partners on how to successfully approach potential funders at regional and country level, strategies to improve leverage funding and how to improve reporting on fundraising efforts.

Dr. Amel Azab from NBCBN-RE was appointed as the next board member for Cap-Net for the term 2015-2016 and Dr. Carlos Delgado of REMERH-MEX as the alternate member. Congratulations to both!

At the end of the meeting, Dr. Themba Gumbo gave a closing remark with a thank you to the host AECID and Mr. Damian Indij of LA-WETnet. Cap-Net UNDP would also like to express its sincere gratitude to the secretariat as well as partner networks and international partners for making this annual meeting a huge success.

For more information, please contact Mr Kees Leendertse. ')}