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Shiraka Water Management Iraq

From 2020 to 2021, The Hague Academy developed a tailor-made training programme on water management for Iraq. The training, part of the Shiraka programme, was initially planned in a blended format, both online and in The Netherlands. The format of the course had to be adjusted to a fully online programme, given the remaining travel restrictions related to Covid-19. 

Main goal

In this training programme, the aim is to enhance the knowledge of the participants on integrated water management, focusing on the implementation of Iraq’s national strategy in practice. This includes addressing both demand and supply-side challenges in Iraq’s water sector. The programme also aims to improve the knowledge and skills of Iraqi water professionals, policymakers and other stakeholders to effectively apply principles of water governance combined with innovative solutions.

“Water management is key for improving people’s livelihoods but also for the economic development and stability of a country. A programme like this is highly valuable, not only because of the knowledge that is exchanged but because of the strength of building such a local network among participants. Professionals from many different backgrounds will now jointly work towards solutions, understanding the nexus between water and food security.” Michel Rentenaar, Dutch Ambassador in Baghdad.


  • Identify the key concepts of integrated water resources management (IWRM), water governance and food security;
  • Create linkages between these concepts within the Iraqi context;
  • Analyse relevant aspects and plans of the national water strategy in Iraq;
  • Apply key components of strategic planning in water management and evaluate the suitability of different governance and management practices for sustainable water use at watershed/basin scale;
  • Recognise practical solutions to support climate-smart agriculture in water-scarce areas;
  • Discuss governance and management challenges at watershed/basin scale from the perspective of a variety of stakeholders; and
  • Define a common problem within an Iraqi watershed/basin and develop a plan to tackle it.


24 participants from different regions in Iraq have been trained to recognise and apply best practices in water management across several key sectors. The participants work for various institutions such as the Ministry of Water Resources, the Ministry of Agriculture, regional governments, trade unions and knowledge institutes. 

Part 1:

Five-week online training, divided into knowledge content (water management and governance, scarcity, water-food-climate nexus) and practical skills (building an action plan, problem construction, stakeholder analysis).  

Part 2:

Two-week online training (policy cycle, citizen science and water management in the Netherlands)

Part 3:

Three-week online training (water cycle management, Dutch solutions in agricultural water management and transboundary water cooperation and diplomacy). 

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