Worldwide , 09 Feb 2021

Media in Water Conflicts and Cooperation: a handbook, a podcast, and an online course

How do you handle delicate and sensitive issues surrounding water diplomacy for media purposes? Find inspiration in the recently published Handbook on Media in Water Conflicts and Cooperation, coordinated by SciDev.Net under the Open Water Diplomacy Lab project. To promote the handbook, SciDev.Net is airing a three episode podcast series, concluding with a live debate. The project has also created an online course on Science Communication, starting in March.

The handbook

What is the interaction between media, science and politics, and what is its impact on water diplomacy? The handbook, edited by Rasha Dewedar, offers extensive knowledge, insights, opinions and expertise from people from different (academic) disciplines, genders, backgrounds and countries. The handbook is mainly aimed at journalists, editors, communication officers, and researchers interested in engaging with the media. Ultimately, the handbook is a tool for contributing to changing the narrative from covering water issues from a national interest point of view to a cooperative and more holistic perspective. 

The handbook is published in open access by CABI publisher and can be found here.

The podcast

“Science is at the heart of all of our lives, and we’ve seen over the past year how it has the potential to foster unity and cooperation. Our podcast guests have years of experience reporting on water issues and championing science for peace and development. The conversations in each episode are both rich and timely, and provide an insight into the roles that science and the media have in the complex but fascinating world of water diplomacy”, says Fiona Broom, podcast host and features editor of SciDev.Net. 

In the first episode, three of handbook’s authors, Rasha Dewedar (freelance science and gender journalist), Emanuele Fantini (senior lecturer and researcher, IHE Delft Institute for Water Education), and Nitasha Nair (policy and management specialist), discuss their experience and research on the role of media in water diplomacy. Listen to the first episode here

The second episode ‘Water can be a topic of cooperation’ aired last Monday 8 February, and discusses training for journalists and researchers working on water conflicts and cooperation. The episode features, Charles Wendo (SciDev.Net), who coordinates the online course Science Communication for Water Cooperation and Diplomacy, Kerry Schneider (Stockholm International Water Institute), and Rehab Abd Almohsen (freelance science journalist). Listen to the second episode here. The third episode will be aired on Nile Day, 22 February and will zoom in on the topic of Communication as a tool for cooperation.

To close the podcast series a live online discussion on reporting water conflict and cooperation will be organized, bringing together the water diplomacy community, including journalists, researchers, peace and security specialists, and diplomacy experts. The debate will be held on 1 March, more information will follow.

Online course on Science Communication for Water Cooperation and Diplomacy

Develop or strengthen your practical skills to confidently engage with the media and effectively communicate your research and professional work. Although relevant to anyone wishing to improve their science communication, the course is especially relevant for those whose research is related to water conflicts, cooperation and diplomacy. The course is free and the deadline for registration is 1 March 2021. Find more information here.

About Open Water Diplomacy Lab

The Open Water Diplomacy Lab project aims at boosting the role of science and communication as a catalyst for peace and cooperation in the Nile. The project aims at studying the role of media and science in transboundary water negotiations as well as building and strengthening the capacities of local journalists and researchers from Nile basin countries to facilitate mutual understanding and cooperation on transboundary water resources between riparian countries. Visit the project page for more information.

This project is led by IHE Delft in partnership with the University of Witwatersrand, Nile Basin Capacity Building Network (NBCBN), African Water Journalists and SciDev.Net and supported by DUPC2.  

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