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Strengthening training for achieving the Millennium Goals

Published December 2008

Support to the development and operation of Water Training Centers over the world

(The News N° 16 - December 2008)

In many countries, the weak point of Water Policy is the lack of competent staff for operation, maintenance and renewal of water infrastructures. At the beginning of 2008, IOWater carried out a study on behalf of the French Development Agency (AFD), which had the overall objective of assessing the situation and identifying the main lines for supporting the development and operation of Water Training Centers (WTCs) and vocational training in countries of the French Priority Solidarity Area. The situations of the water and sanitation sector and practices of basic and continuing vocational training for water professions were analyzed in 19 countries.

Three assessment missions were also carried out in Kenya, Togo, Benin, Ghana and Mali. Using the analyses carried out in the various studied countries, it was possible to identify the conditions for the development of Water Training Centers to guarantee the continuity of the investments that these centers could benefit from.

These favorable factors can be classified in 3 categories:

  • The preliminary analysis of the training needs and of the national and regional potential market;
  • The development of an enabling environment for vocational training for water professions in each country;
  •  In-house structuring of the Centers to meet the market and training needs.

In a second phase, this study also allowed identifying potential actions that should be launched in each country to develop training for water professionals.

This study will enable AFD to support an assistance policy for this sector, which would be based on "traditional" investments or educational assistance to the training centers, but which would also aim at offering accompanying solutions for the continuity of professional training, especially by strengthening the environment of the training organizations and their long-term support.