Stakeholders, Partnerships and Network Analysis

This course will help you operate effectively in stakeholder networks and partnerships. Whether it is about drinking water and sanitation, agricultural water management, climate adaptation or water protection, always multiple stakeholders are involved, at different levels. This course offers theories and approaches to understand these multi-stakeholder partnerships and water networks.

Apply now for

OKP and MSP Scholarship

If your are eligible, consider to apply for an Orange Knowledge or MENA Scholarship Programme. Interested? Apply for admission to this course by 25 September 2022.

For whom?

This course is designed for water professionals with a BSc degree, and ability to think at MSc level, working with water authorities, and water and sanitation utilities, NGO, related environmental and water government offices and developmental organisations. If you regularly need to deal with external stakeholders and/or partnerships, this course is especially relevant for you.


A BSc degree is required, an ability to think at MSc level and an ability to understand basic (high school level) mathematics. The course mainly uses social science and management science theories and methods, and involves some light quantification and mathematics.

Dates, Fee, ECTS

Start: 22 May 2023
End: 02 June 2023
ECTS credit points: 3
Deadline IHE application: 21 April 2023 - 23.59 (CET)
Course fee: € 3500

VAT is not included in the course fee

Learning objectives

Upon completion, the participant should be able to:

  1. Critically discuss the different theories and concepts of partnerships and networks in the water sector, transcending scales and sectors.
  2. Explain different approaches for (advanced) stakeholder analysis and implement a stakeholder analysis in practice
  3. Reflect on the implications of a stakeholder analysis for an existing partnership or network, from an interdisciplinary perspective.

This course introduces you to the theory of stakeholder partnerships and networks in the water sector, offers you methods to analyze your own stakeholder partnership or network environment, and guides you through a practical application, combining theory and methods for a real-world case. The course consists of three main components, offered over a two-week period:

Part 1: Partnerships and Networks in Theory 

This topic introduces the concepts and theories of partnerships and networks and elaborates on their importance in practices of water/sanitation management. Participants will be introduced to specific cases which will show how these concepts and theories have been implemented with different types of partnerships and networks; including transboundary, sectoral and inter-sectoral, public-private partnerships, community-based and civil society partnerships. Lectures, readings and class discussions will be alternated for this.

Part 2: Advanced stakeholder analysis

The second part of this course presents different approaches for advanced stakeholder analysis. Approaches that will be elaborated on include actor network scanning, game theory and social network analysis. Participants will become familiar with approaches and their similarities and differences through exercises with practical applications using an illustrative case study on nature-based flood defences. Lectures, class discussions and exercises are used for this.

Part 3: Stakeholder analysis in practice

Following the introduction to concepts of partnerships and networks, and hands-on exercises with advanced stakeholder analysis, participants will undertake a small project to gain insight into the functioning of partnerships and networked water management in practice. Participants will use one of the advanced stakeholder analysis methods and combine this with insights from theory to offer insights and advice on an existing water partnership or network.


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