Vision, Mission & Strategy

The passion and dedication of staff, students and PhD fellows at IHE Delft motivate and unite us all. We strongly believe that capacity development, in partnership, is key to addressing today’s water challenges. Through our work we recognise that a fresh, interdisciplinary approach is needed and that our organization is in a primary position to contribute substantially.

In countries around the world, social welfare and economic development depend heavily on water. However, new challenges to sustainable water services and water security exist, driven by burgeoning populations and rapid economic growth which may lead to related risks such as degradation of ecosystems and loss of biodiversity. In addition, climate change is magnifying these challenges by increasing the frequency and severity of events involving too much or too little water.

At the same time, it is evident that there are many changes occurring in our society. These are not only found in water-related topics such as clean water shortages, climate change, poverty and conflicts, but also in the changing landscapes of education and funding.

Responding to these changes requires flexibility in the organization and operations of IHE Delft and its partners. To maximize societal impact we need to adapt methods of conducting research and transferring knowledge. Our commitment to excellence through partnerships, will provide mutual learning and strengthened capacity development for the water sector, especially in the Global South and, where needed, in the Global North.


IHE Delft Institute for Water Education envisions a world free of poverty and injustice, in which people manage their water and environmental resources sustainably and equitably.


IHE Delft works in partnership to strengthen capacity in the water sector to achieve global sustainable development.


Through our overarching work on capacity development, IHE Delft aims to make a tangible contribution to achieving all Sustainable Development Goals in which water is key.

IHE Delft’s Response

Operating from a water perspective, IHE Delft focuses on regional challenges, such as droughts, floods and deteriorating water quality, and global challenges, such as climate change, ecosystem degradation, land loss, urbanization, sanitation, poverty, hunger, and migration. We embrace clear, integrated approaches and holistic solutions.

To increase our impact on the water sector, we will enhance our flexibility by offering tailored, high-quality education and research in Delft and overseas, through strong partnerships within the Netherlands and with our main international partners, especially in the Global South.


  • High-quality MSc degrees and short courses, customized to professional requirements;
  • MSc for water professionals and a research MSc for professionals with PhD ambitions;
  • Flexible modalities increasingly incorporating, online, lifelong learning in collaboration with partner universities.

Research and Innovation

  • Holistic approach, generating solutions that contribute to all water-related SDGs;
  • Research that provides evidence of its applicability, societal impact and develops capacities in the water sector;
  • Bring innovations to the next Technology Readiness Level and facilitate nature-based, broadly applicable solutions.

Institutional Strengthening

  • Institutional partnerships working with our partners towards co-creation of knowledge and its applications; 
  • Individual partnerships for lifelong learning, enabling staff, students and alumni to engage better in a mutual exchange of knowledge and skills, across generations;
  • Be perceived as an independent broker in the international water sector, through critical reflection, engagement, and an active role in the water community.

Enabling Environment at IHE Delft

  • Information and knowledge management to improve the Institute’s learning and sharing capabilities;
  • Embrace quality assurance, while providing an open culture that allows for feedback, debate, reflection, and reducing inequalities;
  • Maintain financial sustainability and an efficient, professional organization that lives its values;
  • Reduce IHE Delft’s CO2 footprint. Read our sustainability statement here.
Strategy 2018-2023

Summary of strategy 2018-2023

IHE Delft's Strategy 2018-2023: Synergies and partnerships to address water challenges.

2020 Delft Agenda for Action

In the spring of 2020, IHE Delft organized its 6th Symposium on Knowledge and Capacity for the Water Sector. This global online event with more than 600 participants deliberated on what the future of water capacity development should be. All participants could directly provide input for the Delft Agenda for Action, which was developed during and after the Symposium.


Connect with us

Never miss a thing!