Capacity development is about transformations that empower individuals, leaders, organisations and societies. It begins with establishing a learning culture where people have access to knowledge and are confident to apply it to everyday situations.
The core essence of the MRC’s work begins with building capacities in the Lower Mekong Basin. Capacity building at the MRC often includes supporting national government agencies by carrying out projects, developing an understanding with them on how to better integrate water resources management into their work plans and providing a platform for young professionals to develop their careers.
Integrating water resources management into other aspects of regional strategic plans and national project activities can bring about effective and equitable use of water and related resources. However, it is a task which requires concerted and well-trained efforts. National government agencies and other involved parties need to understand what integrated water resources management principles are, and then how they can translate these principles into practical action that leave behind measurable change.
The Integrated Capacity Building Programme (ICBP) was designed to do this through a number of capacity building activities, which included supporting workshops, building relationships among parties involved and exchanging knowledge with other river basin organisations, and training the MRC’s Junior Riparian Professionals on the relevance of this topic.
The programme’s goal was to strengthen water resources management at the regional level, and for Mekong governments to apply more effective strategies across sectors and ultimately, across borders.
In the Lower Mekong Basin, social and cultural context defines different roles and responsibilities between females and males. Both genders also have different needs, interests and capacities. To achieve optimum development that improves the quality of life for people in the region, the MRC aims to mainstream gender perspectives in our policies and programmes to ensure equal benefits among women and men. The ICBP provided technical advice on gender equality to other MRC programmes and initiatives as well as for the MRC Strategic Plan 2011–2015.
One of the founding pillars of the programme’s capacity building efforts was its Junior Riparian Professional project (JRP). The MRC’s junior professional training project is tailor-made to suit the needs of young professionals from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam. The programme selects individuals interested in pursuing careers in water resources management and provides on-the-job training with the MRC.
In 2011, China and Myanmar participated in this programme for the first time. More junior professional training exchanges with both dialogue partners are anticipated for the future.
As one of the MRC’s most important capacity building projects, the young professionals have applied their knowledge to careers in their home countries at ministries, universities and international organisations in the field of integrated water resources management.
For detailed information on the structure and components of the Programme, review the Integrated Capacity Building Programme Document.
For more information on the Junior Riparian Professional Project see the Working With MRC page.
Australia, New Zealand and Finland provided support to the Integrated Capacity Building Programme.
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