With a 45-person delegation, the Nile Basin was well-represented at the third International Forum for Water and Food. The Forum, which took place in Thswane, South Africa, from 14 to 17 November 2011, brought about 300 representatives from the six river basins of the CGIAR Challenge Programme on Water and Food, as well as a host of other international actors.
The Nile delegation was not only strongly represented physically. It also actively contributed to the forum in various ways and reported about it on blog posts, through video and on Twitter …
1. Leading and facilitating a couple of Forum sessions:
- Learning to innovate (a): innovation and multi-stakeholder platforms. See the Twitter report and blog posts: Innovation platforms and the rugged process of learning to change – Local innovation platforms pathways to more productive rainwater management in Ethiopia – Research for development: why bother? – Multi-stakeholder and innovation platforms: Experiences shared in the CPWF forum
2. Contributing to a host of other Forum sessions:
- Global drivers. See the Twitter report.
- Multiple use systems and integrated water resource management (MUS-IWRM). See the Twitter report / Blog post: Integrating livestock into rainwater management systems in Ethiopia.
- Research to policy. See the Twitter report.
- Resilience. See the Twitter report
3. Organising four sessions during the Share Fair:
- ‘Happy strategies’ game around rainwater management. Blog posts:Jegerida – The ‘happy strategies’ game matches landscape needs with rainwater interventions – ‘Happy strategies’ – where strategic land and water management is as simple as playing a game.
- Participatory video as a means of capturing community perspectives on rainwater management. Blog post: A look at the potential benefits of participatory video in river basin communities.
- Scaling-out termite management options for resilient and productive productivity livelihoods in Eastern Africa.
- Spatial analysis and modeling poster and discussion.
4. Organizing a NBDC stand:
Posters focusing on the different Nile projects were exhibited at the stand. Moreover, two NBDC technical reports on the review of development of key national policies with respect to rainwater management in Ethiopia prepared by Ethiopian Economics Association and on promoting improved rainwater and land management in the Blue Nile (Abay) basin of Ethiopia were distributed at the stand. Seven briefs of the Nile were also distributed.
5. Contributing to the social reporting of the Share Fair with about 300 tweets, three videos, ten blog posts, various pictures and capturing the presentations. Read a related blogpost.
On the final day of the event (Thursday 17 November), the whole group gathered to review the insights garnered by the whole team during the week and to devise ways forward, building upon what happened at the Forum. Among the great results achieved, the NBDC team is involved in various topic working groups either to lead (livelihoods, spatial analysis modeling) revitalize (multiple use systems) or support (resilience).
In addition, under the leadership of Basin coordinator Tilahun Amede, a group of representatives from the three African basins will coordinate the development of a publication synthesising evidence produced on the topic of rainwater management in Africa. Amede is also heralding discussions with other basin leaders to consider setting up a network that would extend cooperation around rainwater management on the continent.
The next National Platform meeting (19 December 2011) will be a crucial moment to bring together all these results to the wider group of stakeholders in Ethiopia, including the young professionals who were empowered to join decision-making processes regarding water and food management during the Forum.
The Nile delegation has now flowed back up to its familiar banks but the knowledge confluents of the age-old Nile are growing in all directions. The next year may see the Nile banks, and its people, flourish with new ambitions.
See also the Forum website.