Course Introduction:

Water provision and governance of water involve complex systems and the coordination of different stakeholders at all levels of government. Adding to the challenge are the political and institutional contexts of the country. In many contexts, reforms for effective water management are hampered by an unclear allocation of roles and responsibilities, territorial fragmentation and limited capacity at the local level.

The Hague Academy for Local Governance will organise a blended, practice-oriented training course to address water governance. Leading international experts and practitioners will provide unique insights into international best practices and water governance tools. Participants will learn to actively apply the five building blocks required for sound water governance:

  1. Powerful administrative organisation
  2. Legally embedded system
  3. Adequate financing system and economic analyses of water services
  4. Systematic planning approach
  5. Participation of stakeholders

In addition, understanding the theoretical concepts and international cases, participants will visit several Dutch examples of water projects. These field visits will focus on private-public cooperation and the approach of Integrated Water Resource Management. You will also learn first-hand about how to deal with high-water levels, manage dikes, increase flood safety and address environmental concerns.

Key Information

  • This training will take place in a blended format
  • Online: 6 September – 3 October
  • Face-to-face: 22 November – 1 December
  • The application deadline is 30 July 2021.
  • The scholarship application deadline is 11 March 2021
  • Group discounts are available if you participate with three or more colleagues.
  • For general inquiries, please contact or call +(31) 70 37 38 695.

Learning Objectives

This course will help you to:

  • Acquire the knowledge, concepts and principles of integrated, multilevel water governance;
  • Identify instruments for increasing social and financial accountability of water management and water services;
  • Increase insight in the legal, political and institutional framework affecting water governance in your context;
  • Become acquainted with assessment tools and new approaches for dealing with the challenges of water governance;
  • Broaden your knowledge of international best practices in the field of multilevel water governance.

By participating in this course you will meet colleagues from other parts of the world, exchange experiences with experts and visit many examples of Dutch water management. You will link international best practices and tools with your own working context and think about practical solutions for the challenges you face in your home country.

After this course, you will receive a professional certificate of completion from The Hague Academy for Local Governance.

Intended Audiences

This course is intended for policymakers and technical staff of organisations responsible for water management at different levels. The course is also aimed at programme managers and advisors working for donor and development organisations. Read the experiences of a former course participant.


Top experts in the field that have contributed to this course in the past include:

Eiman Karar: Eiman is a natural scientist with over 20 years of experience in water resources management in Africa. Currently, she is a Senior Advisor at the United Nations Environmental Programme. Between 2005-2016, Eiman was the Executive Manager for the Management of Water Resources department at the Water Research Commission (WRC) of South Africa. Before that, she acted as Director of the Department of Water Affairs of South Africa, developing policies pertaining to all decentralised Water Management Institutions and their related governance arrangements. She has extensive experience in research and policy-making around decentralisation of management decisions (including the legal, organisational, financial and technical aspects). In the course, Eiman will discuss Institutional Frameworks of Multilevel Water Governance, namely processes for institutional development such as roles and responsibilities at various jurisdictional levels. She will also present water resources regulations and planning tools and discuss international cooperation in water management.

Wouter Wolters: Wouter is an experienced advisor on integrated water resources management, with over 40 years of experience. He studied civil engineering and completed a Master’s in drainage and a PhD in irrigation. His wide international experience includes long-term assignments in Egypt and Pakistan, as well as many short-term assignments in various countries around the globe. Together with his Egyptian colleagues, he was responsible for the water sector cooperation between Egypt and the Netherlands. Wouter is an experienced water advisor and trainer, who has worked for the Netherlands Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Agriculture, as well as for the Universities in Delft and Wageningen. Missions for large engineering consultants are also part of his experience. He has been involved in various projects with the European Commission, mainly on drought. In these (and other) projects, he contributed to the development of Science-Policy Briefs. Wouter has developed from a technical expert, ‘knowing a lot about little’, into a water generalist, ‘knowing little about a lot’.

Robert van Cleef (TBC): Robert is a business and water economist, currently acting as Director/Senior Consultant at Sterk Consulting. He is responsible for the programme ‘Economics of Water’ and is involved in different projects that focus on the efficient functioning of the water sector. He has developed and implemented a range of tools to help government agencies to enhance their efficiency and effectiveness. He mainly specialises on budgeting and financing of water management, including cost reductions, monitoring efficiency gains and operationalizing (economic) policy instruments. In the course, Robert will discuss financial arrangements of water governance, including the theory of financing systems for successful water management. He will introduce the Financial Assessment Tool and participants will apply it analysing the case of Lake Naivasha.

Speakers from the Dutch Water Authorities, the Netherlands Commission on Environmental Assessment (NCEA) and Waternet (to be confirmed) will also be part of the programme.


Various field visits will be organised as part of the training, focusing on private-public cooperation and examples of Integrated Water Resource Management. Participants will also learn first-hand about how to deal with high water levels, manage dykes, increase flood safety and address environmental concerns.

Practical information

The course fee is € 3.595-. This includes all training-related costs, as well as drinks, lunches, training materials and travel during the training programme. Travel to and from The Hague and accommodation are not included. Group discounts are available if you participate with three or more colleagues in this course. Email us for more information. The course language is English.

For questions or more information about this course, please direct your inquiry to or call +31(70) 37 38 695.

Funding Opportunities

Participants in our courses are predominantly funded by their own employer (municipalities, Ministries, NGOs and training or research institutes) or by a donor or development agency. If you are looking for additional funding opportunities, there are a few organisations you could approach.

Nuffic Scholarships

The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs offers scholarships for training courses in the Netherlands. These scholarships seek to develop and strengthen the skills, instincts, and abilities of professionals to enable their organisations and communities to succeed in an ever-changing world. The Netherlands Organisation for International Cooperation in Higher Education (Nuffic) is the programme manager.

Please note that the scholarship application deadline for this course is 11 March 2021. For more information regarding deadlines, eligibility and application procedures, please visit our Scholarships page

Application Procedure

The application deadline is 30 July 2021. Incomplete forms will be neither accepted nor considered in the selection process.


After submitting your completed application, you will receive a confirmation of your course registration and an invoice. The payment deadline is 4-weeks before the start of the training course.

Payments can be made by bank transfer or by PayPal. We offer the option of paying in one or two instalments. An advance payment of 50% secures reservation of a seat to the training until the payment deadline. However, your participation in the course is guaranteed only after receipt of full payment prior to the 4-week deadline.

If no payment is received before that deadline, then your registration will automatically be cancelled. Please note that The Hague Academy accepts registrations on a first-pay, first-served policy.

Visa Applications

Some countries require a visa to enter the Netherlands. Please check with The Netherlands or the embassy for the visa requirements related to your country. Because of the length of time needed for the visa procedure, we advise you to start this process as soon as possible. The Hague Academy we will send you an acceptance letter which will assist you in arranging your visa, but only after we confirm your payment.


Payments received before the deadline will be reimbursed. However, an administration fee of €150 will be charged to fulfil this request. We strongly encourage you to start with the visa application procedure at least six weeks before the start of the training programme in order to prevent late cancellation.

A cancellation fee of 50% of the course fee will be charged for participants cancelling between four and two weeks prior to the start of the training. If you cancel your participation within the two-week period before the start of the course, then you will be required to pay 80% of the course fee.

In the event that you cannot attend the course, it is possible to nominate a suitably qualified candidate to replace you without extra charge.

The Hague Academy for Local Governance reserves the right to cancel a course if the number of participants is insufficient or due to any other unforeseen circumstances. In this case, your payment will be 100% reimbursed. Other costs such as transportation or hotel cannot be reimbursed.

Contact Information

For questions about this course and procedures, or to inquire about our tailor-made courses on citizen participation, please contact us by email at, or dial +31-70-3738695.