Courtney Stevenson Forde

The diversity of culture, experience and knowledge was more than I could have expected. I have made friends all over the world and gain knowledge both academically and otherwise that has made me better as a professional and a person

Latin America and the Caribbean
Barbados Latin America and the Caribbean

What were your expectations when you applied at IHE Delft? And were these expectations met?

It was amazing studying at IHE Delft. The diversity of culture, experience and knowledge was more than I could have expected. I have made friends all over the world and gain knowledge both academically and otherwise that has made me better as a professional and a person. I truly feel that my knowledge will be incredibly useful when I return and after having doubts when I started, I can honestly say that I have absolutely no regrets choosing to come to IHE Delft. It has been and will remain a highlight of my life.

What can IHE Delft do to improve the impact of its programmes to support water management in SIDS?

Many examples of solutions which are provided are examples from large countries and continents and may not necessarily be suited to SIDS. I did not experience this in my specialisation mainly because of the nature of the material taught, but I did hear it mentioned from some of my contemporaries in other programme. As a result, I think having examples (where applicable of course) from as many different cases as possible (including SIDS) would help in improving both the overall knowledge of individuals and the supporting water management in SIDS as expertise focused towards SIDS specifically would be attained. This may be challenging if problems facing water management in SIDS are not known or well described/explained to those who have never been exposed to them, but would be a nice addition.

How do you intend to apply your lessons learned?

Going back to my job in Barbados where I will use the expertise I developed to build and improve modelling of natural hydrological systems. Since where I work is a regional institution, this expertise will benefit the 16 participating Caribbean member states of the Caribbean Meteorological Organisation, for which CIMH is the education, training and research arm. Being a training institute provides an opportunity to pass on some of my knowledge as it relates to data management and analysis since this is a major issue in the Caribbean as it relates to hydrological data collection and management specifically.

How will you stay in touch with your fellow SIDS students and what could IHE do to consolidate a community of practice amongst SIDS water professionals?

There is currently a WhatsApp group for the Caribbean nationals who come to IHE Delft. Those who are not from the Caribbean but are from other SIDS I will stay in touch via WhatsApp and other social media.

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More information about Hydroinformatics - Modelling and Information Systems for Water Management.

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