The WaterNet Professional Training Programme facilitates competency training through short courses. The courses are mainly targeted at meeting the needs of river basin organisations, water utilities, municipalities, country water partnerships and practicing water professionals. The courses are aimed at upgrading and refreshing the knowledge and skills of water sector and building new skills in emerging key focus areas professionals.

The enhanced capacity should enable the people of Southern Africa to manage their water resources in a more efficient, equitable and sustainable manner. The programme is informed by the needs and priorities as identified by the SADC and EAC, the Global Water Partnership for Southern Africa, CapNet; UNDP’s global network for Integrated Water Resources Management capacity building networks and UNEP’s Freshwater Ecosystems unit. The courses are delivered in close collaboration with the SADC Water Division, CapNet, and the Global Water Partnership-Southern Africa.  To date over thirty five courses have been delivered to more than 700 participants.  During phase IIb (2008-2012) twenty one courses were delivered to more than 390 participants from the SADC region and beyond.


1. Regional Capacity Building Programme on Promoting Integrity and Accountability in the water sector in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Programme background

Integrity, accountability and transparency (IAT)are some of the least addressed values in the governance of water resources and provision of water services. Integrity, accountability and anti-corruption are critical determinants of how water resources and services are governed and al-located, these principles need to be included in a systematic way in water policy development and implementation. Improving integrity, accountability and transparency enables countries to achieve the Millennium Development Goals quicker and at a lower cost and leads to reduced poverty. In the water sector IAT leads to equitable and efficient provision of water and ancillary services.

In 2008 WaterNet, Cap-Net and the UNDP-Water Governance Facility at SIWI mapped regional and national policies, institutions, laws and regulations, as well as projects active in promoting transparency, accountability and integrity in the water sector in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. The exercise revealed that SADC countries were committed to integrity and accountability through good governance and the promotion of transparency. This reinforces efforts in implementing the United Nations (UN) Convention against Corruption, the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption and the SADC Proto-col Against Corruption. One of the key recommendations from the map-ping exercise was the need for capacity building of staff at regional, national and local levels. These include individuals and organisations work-ing directly with water issues in planning, regulation, policy development and decision making: governments, local authorities and their associations, water utilities, water regulatory bodies, RBOs, water user associations, private sector and those with a less direct involvement but with vented interest such as the media, and civil society organisations.

In response to this demand, the UNDP-Water Governance Facility together with its partners Cap-Net and WIN secured funding from the Swedish Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) for a period of 3 years to implement the Regional Capacity Building Programme on promoting integrity and accountability in the Sub- Saharan Africa water sector. In the SADC region the training programme is being rolled out by WaterNet; a SADC subsidiary institution in collaboration with Cap-Net, the Global Water Partnership Southern Africa with strategic guidance from the SADC Secretariat.

Activities rolled out in 2013:

Three regional training workshops were held in Johannesburg, South Africa, the titles and target groups are listed below:
  1. Promoting Integrity and Accountability in River Basin Organisations, 8-12 April, Johannesburg, South Africa. 21 participants were in attendance from 9 SADC countries. 23% of the participants were female.
  2. Strengthening Civil Society and Media’s Role in Promoting Integrity and Accountability in the Water Sector 20-22 May 2013, Johannesburg, South Africa. The training was attended by 22 participants from 10 SADC countries. 45% of the participants were female.
  3. Strengthening capacity of local authorities and water utilities to enhance integrity and accountability in water service provision 29 July— 2 august 2013, Johannesburg, South Africa. The training was attended by 29 participants from 11 SADC countries, 10% of the participants were female. 

To date 116 participants have been trained of the 175 targeted over the three year programme (66% of overall target achieved to date).


2. Joint SADC & EAC Regional Training of Trainers Course on Ecosystem Functions & IWRM 8 – 12 July 2013, Rainbow Towers Hotel, Harare, Zimbabwe


Course Background

The Millennium Ecosystems Assessment Report (MA) released in 2005 reported that humans have changed ecosystems more rapidly and extensively than in any comparable period of time in human his-tory over the past 50 years, largely to meet rapidly growing demands for food, fresh water, timber, fiber and fuel. This has resulted in a substantial and largely irreversible loss in the diversity of life on Earth. Maintaining healthy ecosystems to en-sure water availability and other ecosystem services is essential but many ecosystems are already under stress due to water withdrawals for agriculture and other purposes. Climate change is anticipated to exacerbate this situation. Fifteen of the twenty four identified services provided by ecosystems to humanity, particularly those related to freshwater, are in global decline. This loss has led to reduced water availability, poor water quality and a reduction of capacity to deal with floods and drought. It is with this background that UNEP and the International Institute for Sustainable Development and 10 other partners developed a training manual on Ecosystem Management: Concept to Local Scale Implementation to bridge this growing gap. In parallel CapNet in partnership with its member networks developed a training course on Ecosystem functions and IWRM in order to provide new knowledge on the subject. WaterNet in partnership with WaterCap have in turn developed training programme on Ecosystem functions and IWRM drawing on material from the Ecosystem Management: Concept to Local Scale Implementation training manual and the learning materials from the Ecosystems and IWRM training of trainers.

The course was held from 8-12 July 2013, at the Rainbow Towers in Harare Zimbabwe. The objectives of the course were to:

  1. Strengthen the capacity of water and environmental practitioners on the functions of ecosystems and their management within an IWRM approach.
  2. Raise understanding among water and basin managers on the importance of the environment in water resources development, management practices, and implementation processes.
  3. Exchange knowledge and good practices in ecosystems based approaches at the river basin level, and how best to transfer such knowledge to water managers.
  4. Highlight specific management actions for water and catchment managers that protect biophysical features and provide benefits for sustainable water resources 
  5. Promote networking for capacity building in ecosystems-based management approaches in water management.

The course was attended by 32 participants from 10 different countries from SADC and EAC countries with 34% of the participants being female.