NEWAVE at the WWWeek #AtHome edition: Presenting an Innovative Training Network for water governance paradigm shifts

September 29, 2020

On 26 August 2020, NEWAVE hosted a session at the SIWI’s World Water Week #AtHome edition. We organized the session with the intent to present NEWAVE’s programme and describe our research and training objectives.

After an introduction of NEWAVE and its water governance training network, NEWAVE’s vision was presented:

“NEWAVE challenges the water governance policy status quo through a systematic approach: mixing interdisciplinary theoretical co-production, integration of multi-sectoral perspectives and empirical contextualized evidence”

The transdisciplinary nature of the project was mirrored by the audience of this first event: a very international group of professionals from both public and private, academic and non-academic sectors, who enthusiastically engaged in the interactive discussion. The discussion tried to stimulate critical, innovative, and transdisciplinary thinking over water governance approaches and training.

The results of the interactive polling are presented in the tables below. NEWAVE highly values the inputs received from the participants and commits to consider them in the design process of its training programme. Selected questions received during the session and via the contact form are answered at the end of the post. The PowerPoint presentation used during the session is available at this link.

If you want to know more about NEWAVE and its Training Programme, visit the About section of our website. We are happy to receive any comment or question you might have in the box at the bottom of the page.

Once again, thanks to all the participants, and particularly to 15 Early Stage Researchers who were present at the session and will soon start their research projects at NEWAVE!

General information of the session

Interactive discussion - Pooling results

General information of audience

  • Geographical distribution of participants

Total number of respondents: 65


  • Gender distribution

Total number of respondents: 62


  • Age distribution of participants

Total number of respondents: 63


  • Background of participants

Total number of respondents: 46

Interactive discussion

  • In your opinion, what is the main threat to global water sustainability?

Total number of respondents: 68


- Mostly, combination of all factors (i.e. depending on the context)
- I think both climate change and governance issues are a threat
- I suggest to include Global Trade as one major contributor to threats. Tons of water in tons of food are moving across borders without any governance or accountability.
- It is a combination of factors, and broadly speaking I don’t think we can pinpoint one specific issue as the main threat.


  • Based on the threat you indicated, which action would you prioritise to tackle it?

Total number of respondents: 66


- Strengthen stakeholder involvement and inter-regional cooperation
- Action would require a multi-pronged approach that engages all the provided answers in Question 6
- Public sector lead and pressure is needed, that comes with civil society action. Then the private sectors and the financial world will move


  • In your opinion, what should be the training and educational priorities to shape water governance leaders?

Total number of respondents: 55


- In addition to inter and transdisciplinary, a need to work with communities on the ground to assess and understand their needs
- Embedding within private sector or public sector organisations to actually work with, not do a study on, the practices of governance.
- Both multi-level and multi-sectoral approaches are needed


  • Which innovative tools or non-conventional instruments can help filling the gaps between scientific training, policy and practice?

Total number of respondents: 62


  • In your opinion, what should be the role of science in the water governance debate?

Total number of respondents: 59


  • How do you feel about the way societies are dealing with the current water challenges?

Total number of respondents: 62


Selected questions received during the session

What is the recruitment process of your training program or where can we get more information?

  • The call for application closed last May. NEWAVE has already selected the 15 candidates who will join the network as Early Stage Researcher. Selected training activities will be open for additional interested researchers. Please visit our website regularly or subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated on the upcoming initiatives.

Seem francophone countries cannot participate in your training program because of the language limitation. Any effort toward this end?

  • The working language of the project is English. Actors from all countries, including francophone regions, are welcome to contribute to the project and take part to its initiatives. The Consortium is proud to count on the participation of host organizations and partners from all over the world operating in their different local languages.

Are the training activities open to ESRs outside the ones pursuing their PhDs under the NEWAVE project? If yes, it might be useful to invite different water youth platforms in these activities, as they are mostly composed by ESRs from different backgrounds (engineers, social scientists, entrepreneurs, etc.)

  • Some of the training activities are specifically designed for NEWAVE ESRs, while selected ones will be open for other water governance scholars. We will advertise these opportunities on our website and our social media accounts.

How can other institution participate in the project?

  • Proposals for collaboration can be submitted via our contact form.

Will the presentation be shared as well?

Comments received via chat

  • Hi, we are launching a resource that should be useful for this programme - we've worked with your partner WIN to produce a review of evidence on accountability in water - you can find it here: 
    Also, we are launching a similar programme but based on grounded research within the wash sector, rather than phd - would be great to look for synergy
  • For those interested in water as part of the nexus and the role of embodied water then you might want to check out: