In 2002 Cap-Net was an initiative of UNDP for Global Water Partnership associated programme to build capacity in Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) through an international network. Cap-Net was initiated together with IHE (now UNECSO-IHE). The goal was to achieve sustainable management and development of water resources and improved access to basic water supply and sanitation services which would benefit the poor and contribute towards improvement of livelihoods, environmental sustainability and reduction in climate change vulnerability. To address the huge capacity gaps Cap-Net overtime evolved as a global network for capacity development across four-focus area of UNDP (poverty reduction, democratic governance, crisis preventions and recovery, and environment and sustainable development) through the lens of water resource management. It is made up of a partnership of autonomous regional, national, and international, institutions and networks committed to capacity development in the water sector.
In South Asia, the rapid population growth, water demand for industrial use, agriculture pressure and domestic usage has created challenges for sustainability, accessibility and equitable sharing of water resources. The increasing impacts of changing environment have further aggravated water – availability, quality, and equity, bringing newer threats and risk in peace and security amongst the neighboring States. This has created perpetual shortage and unequal water distribution.
Water serving as the fundamental link between the climate system, human society and the environment is evolving and demand multi-disciplinary engagement, collaborative capacity building training, strong leadership to shape new and effective paradigms and approaches to water management. SaciWATERs with its vision to produce new knowledge to address the pressing problems in the water sector through education, research and advocacy joined the global efforts to scale-up the huge capacity gap in South Asia. In 2009, SaciWATERs in association with Cap-Net host the network regional secretariat as SaciWATERs Cap-Net Network (SCaN) for South Asian partners to promote capacity building activities in IWRM.
SCaN comprises of autonomous regional and national institutions and individuals committed to building capacity of water professionals across South Asia. Established in 2009, SCaN has successfully initiated activities in collaboration with various national, regional and international organizations. Through its capacity building activities it has been able to reach a diverse group of stakeholders such as academics, researchers, policymakers, donors and implementers. Realizing the enormous demand for capacity building in the water sector across the region, SCaN plans to expand its activities manifold to further reach many more institutions and individuals.
To strengthen the human and institutional capacity by adopting an integrated approach within water sector in South Asia region through education & training; research; knowledge development; advocacy; and networking.
CAP-Net in 2013 aligned its vision and mission with the UNDP strategic Plan (2014-2017) that emphasizes support to capacity building which will lead to enhancing national and local capacities for human development. The strategy for 2014-2017 is further aligned to the overarching strategy of the UNDP’s Water and Ocean Governance Programme (WOGP) that envisages a world in which management, development and use of water and ocean resources is sustained and where there is accelerated effort to universal access to safe household water supply and improved sanitation. The UNDP WOGP programmes are addressed by Cap-Net, with limited focus on ocean resources but looking at coastal zone management as a new thematic area.
In line with Cap-Net’s 2013-2017 strategic plan, SCaN in South Asia is faced with different challenges in water resource management across the diverse geographical regions from the Alpine climate in the mountains, vast Gangetic plains to the Deltas, semi-arid and the coastal zones. SCaN with its vision to strengthen human and institutional capacity in IWRM across South Asia has identified the broad key focus areas applicable in these diverse geographical regions:
Transboundary river management
Safe Drinking Water
Sustainable sanitation, health and water management
Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience Building
Himalayan Water Management
Transboundary river management
To address the focus areas, SCaN with its vision has identified three goals that align with Cap-Net until 2017:
Capacity building: To develop capacity of institutions and individuals to manage, and use water, and to adapt to the increasing climate variability within a context that addresses, human rights, gender equity, and sustainable livelihoods
Strengthening partnerships: To improve water management practices by:
Using effective networks of capacity developers to impact on the ground, and
Developing partnerships with international agencies to improve their outreach and collaboration on capacity development.
Knowledge management: To develop and implement knowledge management systems in response (innovative capacity development), that ensure access to the best of international and local knowledge for all, measure the effectiveness of capacity development services, and review indicators and monitoring systems.
Until 2017 SCaN intends to engage with private and public sector organizations through:
Private and public sectors as receipt as both sectors are major, if not a major user, consumer and polluter. Therefore, private and public sector is a main target group to develop capacity within to achieve sustainable water management/development.
Private and public sector as a donor: The private sector can not only engage through their corporate social responsibility budgets but could also become partners or sponsors of Cap-Net UNDP/SCaN efforts.
Private sector as a partner in capacity development in sustainable water management: The private sector plays an important role as commercial providers of capacity development in the water sector. IT private entities for example have developed many systems and databases which can be used by Cap-Net UNDP/SCaN in furthering efforts in innovative capacity development (e-learning and other platforms). Some tools for implementation (e.g. models, serious games, role plays and computational knowledge engines) are developed and owned by private sector organizations and these can be used in partnership with Cap-Net UNDP/SCaN, for e.g. in providing practical tools for water management at a catchment or river basin area.
Public sector as a partner in capacity building in sustainable water management: The public sector as institutions has an important role in national program design and planning. Partnering to capacitate institutions with evolving nuances on sustainable water management will support, assist researchers and practitioners for knowledge mobilization and address the emerging challenges with drivers of change in the water sector.
Private sector as a driver of demand for capacity development products: The private sector is acknowledged as the driver for demand of specific capacity development products. It is the expectation for Cap-Net to be able to respond to such demands and be able to fulfill the knowledge and expertise gap expressed by private sector organizations.
Dr. Sreenita holds PhD degree in Regional Development from the Centre for the Study of Regional Development, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Before joining SaciWATERs, she worked as an Assistant Professor of Geography at Raniganj Girls' College affiliated to Kazi Nazrul University, West Bengal. She has also worked with Centre de Science Humaines (CSH), New Delhi and has assisted on research project entitled 'India Milk'. She is trained in GIS softwares like- Arc GIS, Erdas Imagine and statistical softwares like- SPSS, EXCEL, etc. Her specific research interest lies in areas of rural development, dispossession and displacement, livelihoods, labour, gender and agriculture using both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. At SaciWATERs, she is presently working in the project entitled "Understanding Women's Role in Agriculture in the Eastern Gangetic Plains: The Macro and Micro Connections"..