Capacity building


A distinction is made between training of professionals (academics, practitioners and policy-makers) and project-based trainings of the community. The difference between the two is that the capacity building of the former, is academic in nature and covers several different ecosystems and BwN concepts. Project-based training events for communities  are held specifically for one respective location and BwN concept. For example: a training session can be given at a ministry that wants to learn more about BwN (training of professionals) or in a community centre of a town that is willing to implement a BwN solution (training of community).

Training events at communities are wide in scope, ranging from safety measures, to explaining the basics of how their ecosystems function. It also aims to showcase the benefits of the BwN-measure for the communities as well as the conditions that need to be met to make sure that the BwN-measure functions. This kind of capacity building is apparent in almost every BwN-measure, seeing as BwN has a heavy stakeholder engagement component.

To enlarge the impact of a single training in BwN, the training of trainers approach is widely used. By giving teachers the understanding and tools to teach BwN at universities, they will train future generations of engineers, policy makers and environmentalists to incorporate BwN in their practice and thinking. A large group of people can thus be reached, making it more likely that BwN will become mainstream and one of the standard options in water safety projects. This kind of capacity building is already quite common in the Netherlands (TU Delft, Wageningen University, Utrecht University, Hogeschool Zeeland and many others).

The implementation of BwN involves the understanding of three main disciplines: ecology, physical system (morphology and engineering) and socio-economics.  It is important to stress that a training in BwN should not only offer state-of-the-art knowledge for the analysis, design and evaluation of the physical environment (ecology, morphology and hydraulic structures), but that it also provides understanding of the equally relevant governance context involving institutions, stakeholders and financing (Ottow et al, 2017).