Water Cooperation and Peace - Joint Educational Programme

  • University for Peace (UPEACE)
  • UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education (UNESCO-IHE)
  • Oregon State University (OSU)

UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education (UNESCO-IHE), the University for Peace (UPEACE) and Oregon State University (OSU), institutions with a unique range of expertise, have jointly developed a new Master programme on Water Cooperation and Peace, which has been endorsed by UNESCO’s “From Potential Conflict to Cooperation Potential PCCP” programme.

Water management is conflict management. Regardless of the scale, ensuring that the needs of the people and ecosystems relying on this critical resource are met effectively, requires comprehensive understanding of both water science and water diplomacy, including dispute mitigation, management, and resolution. To address these needs, the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education in the Netherlands, the University for Peace in Costa Rica, and Oregon State University in the USA, have embarked on a joint education programme in Water Cooperation and Peace. The goal of this new initiative is to broaden the discussion about conflict and peace and the factors that contribute to both, engage multi-level scales of conflict dimensions and strengthen skills by providing hands-on and interactive learning opportunities.

This programme, through a multidisciplinary approach, will provide participants with a theoretical and historical understanding of conflict and peace dynamics and frame issues of water security and cooperation in the broader context of environmental issues, in depth knowledge of and skills in critical analysis of water conflicts, an understanding of socio-hydrological dynamics, decision making processes on water resources and services management, water diplomacy, water dispute prevention, management and resolution skills and tools to promote/achieve water security and to ensure dialogue and cooperation between different and competing users at different scales. Additionally, the programme will offer the opportunity to undertake fieldwork and hands-on experience in Costa Rica, The Netherlands and USA. Participants will be exposed to different case studies, involving diverse challenges and contexts at different scales.

The programme will provide tools and training in an international setting, with the chance to undertake coursework and gain hands-on experience in Costa Rica, The Netherlands and the United States. Participants will be exposed to case studies involving diverse challenges and contexts at different scales, which may be local, national, regional or international. The taught part of the course will begin at UPEACE in Costa Rica, continue at UNESCO-IHE in The Netherlands, where also part of the course will be taught at the Clingendael Institute for International Relations, and end at OSU in the US. The research element can be carried out at any of the three institutions.

Key Strengths of the Programme:

  • Exposure to theory followed by practical exposure to contemporary issues through field work at different scales
  • Strong theoretical foundation in peace and conflict studies
  • Particular emphasis on conflict from different points of view
  • Foundation in how to understand the nexus of environment and development: how to integrate water-related issues in a broader environment and development framework
  • Focus on practical skills - training for actual dispute resolution processes
  • Collaborative and interdisciplinary project work
  • Field experience in both the Global South and Global North contexts
  • Extended networking opportunities from different but complementary fields (water oriented experts, and peace and conflict experts).

 

For Whom is the Programme Intended?

Participants are expected to be professionals, preferably with several years of relevant work experience. They may be involved in topics directly or indirectly related to water management and from the water sector or other relevant sectors, such as current or future water managers, decision-makers and others involved in dealing with or interested in the fields of planning, regulating, and managing access, allocation, and control of water resources and services at various scales. Other categories include civil servants from ministries involved in water management, diplomatic staff, local authorities, river basin organizations, professionals from the UN and other international organizations, local and international NGOs, water users’ associations, universities and research institutes, and consultants. Another possible category is professionals involved in dispute resolution wanting to include water-related issues to their portfolio of activities. In addition, motivated individuals from another background wanting to change career orientation and work in this field, will also be welcome.


Structure of the Programme

Students will be able to choose either a project or thesis option and be awarded an MA and an MSc in Water Cooperation and Peace, depending on whether or not they intend to carry out original thesis research.  All participants will attend the common and core taught elements of the programme in all three institutions, focusing on different areas at each. Students who wish to pursue legal studies and train in water law, will be able to seek admission to the School of Law at the University of Oregon for a Master of Law or JD degrees, but these arrangements are in addition to the WCP programme, and would be made separately.


  • UPEACE: focus on conflict foundation including courses on the UN system, the environment, conflicts and sustainability, and water security and peace.
  • UNESCO-IHE: focus on water and conflict management including courses on water governance, water economics, water and environmental law, and water conflict management.
  • OSU: focus on conflict management integration including courses on applied hydrology, applied field problems, conducting collaborative projects and directed research.

 

Curriculum Overview

 

MODULE

DURATION

DATES

 1

Orientation

2 days

August

2

UPEACE Foundations Course

3 weeks

22 August - 09 September

3

Environment, Conflicts and Sustainability

3 weeks

14 September - 05 October

4

General Course on the UN System

2 weeks

10-21 October

5

Water Security and Peace (concept, theories, and field course)

3 weeks

26 October- 15 November

6

Management of Coastal Resources (concepts, theories and field course)

3 weeks

21 November - 09 December

 

Break for travel

1 week

December

7

Water governance

2 weeks

December

 

Christmas break

2 weeks

Dec. -Jan.

7

Water governance

1 week

January

8

Water economics

3 weeks

January

 

Examination period

1 week

February

9

Water law

3 weeks

February

10

Water conflict management I

3 weeks

March

 

Examination period

1 week

March

11

Water conflict management II

3 weeks

March-April

12

Elective module

3 weeks

April-May

 

Examination period

1 week

May

13

Research Methodology + Thesis proposal work

2 weeks

May

 

Break for travel

1-2 weeks

May-June

14

Natural Resources Leadership Academy

1 week

June

15

Applied Hydrology

1 week

June

16

Applied Field Problems/Technical and Academic Writing in Water Resources

3 weeks

June-July

17

Conducting Collaborative Projects /Writing in Water Resources

4 weeks

July-August

18

Collaborative Project/Directed Research

3 weeks

August-Sept.

19

Project completion – OSU; Seminar and Journal Club

Thesis at either UNESCO-IHE/UPEACE/OSU

10 weeks

6 months

September-December

September - April

 

**ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS & APPLICATION FORM**

**PRORAMME COSTS**