6 December 2012, Geneva, Switzerland – The new joint e-Learning course on Urban Water issues is featured in the latest UNW-DPC Capacity Pool Quarterly Newsletter (Issue No. 15, 2012 – http://my.page2flip.de/858774/881013/881287/). UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development’s  (UNW-DPC) latest Capacity Pool is all about e-Learning. Among other UN-Water member agency activities with e-Learning, it features a guest article by UNITAR’s Sara Castro (Local Development Programme) talking about the new collaborative e-Learning course soon to be launched by UNITAR, UNW-DPC and UN-HABITAT on ”Urban Water Governance and Management” in the Asia-Pacific region.

The new e-Learning course is a tangible contribution to lend UNITAR’s mandate and expertise in capacity-building and knowledge sharing and UN-HABITAT’s urban expertise and GWOPA network towards UNW-DPC’s shared mandate under UN-Water. The course’s main objective is to strengthen the knowledge and capacities of course participants to analyze, understand, and address identified urban challenges in water governance and management in their cities in a sustainable manner. Taking an IUWM approach, the course also aims to instil results-based management principles and project cycle approaches towards building participant skills in urban water management.

UNITAR E-Learning on Water featured in newest UNW-DPC Capacity Pool QuarterlyChosen under the framework of the 2011 World Water Day theme (Water for Cities), the topic for this first joint course aims to increase regional knowledge, skills and awareness on improved water management and governance in the context of the urban challenge in the Asia-Pacific region. Many cite that “the Asian water crisis is, in fact, a crisis of governance”[1] . Asia is now already home to 50% of the global urban population and this will soar to over two-thirds in the coming decade according to the State of Asian Cities 2010/11. Hence, strengthening of governance through measurable knowledge transfer and capacity-building for urban stakeholders can address these challenges.

Our goal is to also network with the participants before, during, and after the course and address their own practical challenges in real time, and equally bring in specific experts to liaise with them in the online forum. The course does not aim to solve these challenges, but to invest in developing participant knowledge and skills with practical how-to solutions in management to address these challenges in their respective contexts.

E-Learning for UN-Water

UN-Water, as a mechanism for 30 UN agencies and over 20 civil society partners, strengthens coordination and coherence among UN entities dealing with issues related to all aspects of fresh water and sanitation including surface and groundwater resources, the interface between fresh water and sea water and water related disasters. It is therefore the most optimal platform for “Delivering as One” on this topic.

In the future, this e-learning project also constitute a later opportunity to collaboratively launch more specialized courses on other key UN-Water Focus Areas through the new UNW-DPC e-Learning platform.

For more information on the course and the collaboration, kindly contact Sara Castro, Local Development Programme, UNITAR at sara.castro@UNITAR.org.

[1] ADB (2007): cited in Anand Chiplunkar et al, Good Practices in Urban Water Management: Decoding Good Practices for a Successful Future, Asian Development Bank, National University of Singapore