Online Course on Building Resilient Systems in Fragile Context

In this online course, participants will assess, design and implement resilience-based approaches to address uncertainty and risk in WASH systems, particularly in fragile contexts. Focused on the humanitarian-development nexus approaches aimed at sustainability, perseverance and quick recovery of WASH systems are covered.

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For whom?

Students aiming to diversify their learning pathway with humanitarian WASH knowledge; Professionals from the humanitarian WASH aiming to improve their competencies for career development; Professionals from the water and sanitation sector (private, public or non-governmental sectors) aiming to expand their expertise to the humanitarian sector.

Dates, Fee, ECTS

Start: 24 July 2023
End: 17 November 2023
Deadline IHE application: 16 July 2023 - 23.59 (CET)
Course fee: € 1065

VAT is not included in the course fee

Course content

The course consists of three topics:

Topic 1: Expecting the unexpected: from a Phased to Resilience Approach
This topic provides the theoretical background needed to analyse and plan for resilience in WASH systems. As a starting point, the historical development of the link between risk reduction and sustainable human development is explained and discussed. From a systems scale, the (impact of) the interdependencies between social, institutional, economic, technological and ecological are explained and illustrated.

From a local scale, we discuss why and how to incorporate the existing local capacities into formal administrative plans, in order to help bridge the system and local levels. These theoretical discussions are grounded through the study of real-life examples brought into class by the participants. Finally, based on these same examples, the applicability of and difference between Phased and Resilience Approaches is discussed.

Topic 2: Analyzing WASH systems
This topic will be studied in three separate groups, each focusing on one of three real-life case studies from different contexts; climate, conflict and social vulnerability. The groups will assess the programs and/or systems used in the case studies and how they built resilience. Participants are taught how to map risks and (local) resources, by applying a capacity mapping tool. Special attention is given to market-based programming and how this can be used to build system resilience. Each group will gain an in-depth understanding of the contents and circumstances for one of the case studies (and share these findings with the other groups).

They will identify the (long term) objectives, map risks on program- or system-level and reflect on the probability and impact of these risks. Participants will also apply the capacity mapping and market assessment tools on the real-life circumstances of their case study, and map other potentially available resources (such as trust, infrastructure, etc.). This analysis allows groups to consider alternative pathways and crucial tipping points in the program design, as well as to reflect on how to integrate adaptive capacity into programs and systems design. In the case studies, special attention will be given to the need for long term sustainability and integration in local markets.

Topic 3: Building resilient systems
This topic will build on the analysis from Topic 2 and provide participants with approaches and strategies to effectively ground the alternative pathways and leverage the tipping points in real-life scenarios. From this, participants will develop an adaptive plan for the situation in their chosen case study, which is able to deal with the prioritized risks or uncertain conditions from Topic 2.

Further, participants will explore methods to adapt their selected approaches and strategies in a dynamic fragile context through a reflection on the existing situation of their case studies. As a conclusion, the participants will critically discuss what is needed in different circumstances to build resilience in a system. They will discuss how what they have learned can or cannot be implemented based on the case studies they worked on.


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