Young Water Diplomats Programme

The Young Water Diplomats programme is designed to enhance an interdisciplinary understanding of transboundary water challenges and advance tools for water cooperation and diplomacy, as well as to strengthen professional networking among the next generation of leading water and environmental diplomats.

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For whom?

Early career diplomats engaged and/or interested in international water and environmental politics with a background in foreign affairs, international law or international relations.


No specific prerequisites are required for this course. However, working experience or knowledge in the field of international relations, foreign affairs, diplomacy, conflict resolution, and cooperation – preferably in an environment or water-related issues are necessary preconditions. The programme will benefit participants with a degree in social sciences, law or humanities.

Dates, Fee, ECTS

Start: 02 January 2023
End: 30 June 2023
Deadline IHE application: 30 October 2022 - 23.59 (CET)
Course fee: € 1400

VAT is not included in the course fee

Learning objectives

Assess and apply different institutional arrangements and diplomatic tools for water cooperation

Understand key aspects of water resources and the challenges they face (including the hydrological cycle, hydrological monitoring and modelling, infrastructure and its effects, climate change impacts)

Analyse and compare lessons learnt from water conflict and cooperation in different basins in the world

Understand key aspects of water resources management (including integrated water resources management approaches, and tools and approaches to water diplomacy)

Integrate interdisciplinary knowledge in problem-solving and collaborate in intercultural and transdisciplinary teams.

Evaluate key challenges that transboundary freshwaters (ground- and surface water) face under different conditions

Course content

The Young Water Diplomats Programme will be conducted in the period between January and June 2023 (six months). During this period, participants will be engaged in online and in-person learning activities consisting of lectures, reading assignments, group work, and discussions with experts.

Thematic lectures delivered by leading academics will be coupled with interventions from practitioners. Interactive meetings with diplomats who have experience in the fields of water and environmental peace-building will create additional space for sharing experiences and getting first-hand knowledge.

The programme consists of bi-monthly webinars that will take place online through the duration of the Programme. In addition, it includes two face-to-face components in Delft, the Netherlands.


The following lecturers from IHE Delft, among others, will be engaged in the programme delivery:

Dr. Susanne Schmeier
Dr. Susanne Schmeier is an Associate Professor of Water Law and Diplomacy at IHE Delft. Her research, teaching and advisory activities focus on the legal and institutional dimensions of water resources management at both the (sub-)national and the transboundary levels, the role of agreements and river basin organizations in promoting and maintaining sustainable water resources management, the linkages between water insecurity and conflict and related entry points for water-based cooperation and negotiation processes.

Dr. Jenniver Sehring
Dr. Jenniver Sehring is a Political Scientist, Senior Lecturer in Water Diplomacy at the Water Governance Department at IHE. Her research and teaching focus on water governance at local, national and transboundary level and on institutional arrangements as well as practices of water cooperation and diplomacy.

Prof. Aaron Wolf
Prof. Aaron Wolf is a Professor of Geography at Oregon State University (OSU) and Professor of Water cooperation and diplomacy at IHE Delft. He is a world-renowned water diplomacy expert, negotiator and advisor in the fields of water cooperation and water diplomacy. Prof. Aaron Wolf has worked with numerous international organizations, national governments, civil society groups and faith communities and he has been engaged in many of the world’s famous and less well-known water conflicts, helping conflicting parties to find a common ground in the use of their precious shared water resources.

Prof. Graham Jewitt
Before joining IHE Delft in 2019 as Professor of Hydrology Dr. Graham Jewitt was Director of the Centre for Water Resources Research and Umgeni Water Chair of Water Resources Research at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. Over the past twenty years, he has led several water and earth system science related initiatives, both in South Africa and abroad, with the relationship between land and water an overarching research thrust. He is on the editorial board of the journals, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS) and WaterSA, is a member of the management board of Waternet and is active in several other national and international fora.

Dr. Shreedar Maskey
With a background in hydraulics, hydrology and mechanics and hydroinformatics, Dr. Shreedar Maskey developed expertise in modelling water resources systems and application of models for floods, droughts and climate change impact assessment. He has worked with a large number of river basins, including Mekong, Yellow, Yangtze, Koshi, Bagmati, Red River and Karkheh (Asia), Aral Sea Basin (Central Asia), Loire and Vit Rivers (Europe), Limpopo, Blue Nile, Pangani and Incomati, Niger, Rufiji (Africa) and others.

Practioners and guest lecturers from the MENA/Horn of Africa region, the Sahel, and Central Asia will complement the programme.

Requirements of the Programme

Participants are expected to spend on average about 4 hours per week in order to fulfil the minimum requirements of the programme. Webinars will take place twice a month on work days during working hours in the CET timezone. In addition, for the in-person meetings in April and June, physical travel to the Netherlands is expected.

The average monthly workload of 16 hours includes the following mandatory activities:

  • Active participation in two webinars per month (lectures, discussions, presentations, and other activities)
  • Preparatory readings
  • Contribution to group work
  • Fulfilment of self-paced individual assignments
  • Participation in two workshops in Delft (April and June 2023)


The programme fee is 1400 EUR. This does not include travel, visa, insurance, living expenses and accommodation costs for the face-to-face meetings in Delft.

Candidates from low- and middle-income countries who meet all of the eligibility criteria can apply for a scholarship that covers programme-related expenses, including the programme fee and travel-related costs (for more information, see our FAQ). Please check the information below for more information about the scholarships.

In 2023, the YWD Programme focuses on the three regions: MENA/Horn of Africa, the Sahel, and Central Asia. We particularly encourage participation of early career specialists from these regions. However, the application is open to participants from other regions as well.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible to participate, applicants must:

  • be at an early stage of their career, priority is given to applicants who are below the age of 40
  • have working experience in the field of international relations, foreign affairs, diplomacy, conflict resolution, and cooperation – preferably in environment or water-related issues
  • have strong command of English (ability to read and understand academic literature, and articulate thoughts clearly)

Application process

Please be prepared to submit your motivation statement in the required format, bachelor diploma and transcript, CV, and copy of identity document.

To apply go to the IHE Delft application portal: and select this course in the short course section of the portal.

The deadline for application is 31 October 2022.

Application for funding

There are a limited number of fellowships for applicants from low- and middle-income countries for funding by the Third IHE Delft Water and Development Partnership Programme (DUPC3). The list of the countries eligible for scholarship can be found here.

In the application form you can indicate you wish to apply for a scholarship.

Please note that participants who will be considered for a scholarship will be requested to provide a formal confirmation of their employer about their availability for participation in the programme.

Background information

The Young Water Diplomats Programme is offered under the IHE Delft Partnership Programme for Water and Development funded by the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.

The first edition of the YWD Programme was implemented in 2022. Impressions can be found  here: Young Water Diplomats Programme – helping future leaders learn about water or here: (Promoting Youth Leadership in Water Governance)


  • If you have questions about the content and requirements of the Programme, contact the course coordinator, or you can send an email to:
  • If you have questions about the application process, please contact Titia van der Zee, fellowship and admission officer (


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