Seminar ‘Professional Cadre, Innovation and Cooperation – Key to the Success in Water Sector Development in Central Asia’ delivered in Ashgabat on November 27, 2019

As part of its CA Academic Network strengthening program, the WB CAWEP Knowledge Network (CAKN) team partnered with the CA Regional Environmental Center’s “Smart Waters” project in organization and delivery of the next regular semi-annual Academic Network Seminar for 36 representatives of universities, think-tanks and leading research institutes from 5 Central Asian countries and Afghanistan. The Seminar titled “Professional Cadre, Innovation and Cooperation – Key to the Success in Water Sector Development in Central Asia” was held in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, on November 27, 2019, back-to back with the WB CAMP4ASB project event «Scientific and evidence-based solutions to manage climate risks and increase resilience to climate change in Central Asia», the EC IFAS Regional Working Group meetings, and the Final Conference of the EU-funded “Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Security Nexus Dialogue in Central Asia” CAREC Project. Such an organizational setup created a lot of synergies and cross-event knowledge exchange options, ensured participation in the Academic Network Seminar of senior officials and key international partners and water sector experts. The main focus of the discussions was put on further strengthening the CA regional academic and teaching capacity in water-energy-climate related CA higher education systems by means of  development of state-of-the-art training manuals, common e-learning and data platforms, implementation of innovative approaches in the education system,  including webinars and online courses, and further advancing regional cooperation among universities through lecturers’ and students exchanges, joint research and partnerships. Tatyana Leonova, Adviser of the WB CAWEP Knowledge Network program, and Ekaterina Strikeleva, Manager of the CAREC “Smart Waters” project, jointly led the seminar delivery. Tatyana presented the Regional Matrix of Goals and Objectives as a key road-map to further strengthening and enhancing Academic Network activities, and moderated focus group discussion on water education development. At the end of the Seminar participants agreed on the concrete next initiatives along the topics discussed, including development of the regional core training courses manual for water sector disciplines, multi-language glossary of key terms and definitions, and enhancing functionality of the Regional Interactive Map on water sector professional development in Central Asian countries as key source of information about existing professional skills in water sector in the region. The WB CAWEP Knowledge Network program will continue to provide financial and substantive support to these initiatives and work to push it to motion.