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The programme

This programme, through a multidisciplinary approach, provides participants with a theoretical and historical understanding of conflict and peace dynamics and frames issues of water security and cooperation in the broader context of environmental issues.


In depth knowledge of and skills in critical analysis of water conflicts; and an understanding of socio-hydrological dynamics, decision making processes on water resources and services management, water diplomacy, water dispute prevention, management and resolution skills and tools to promote water security and to ensure dialogue and cooperation between different and competing users at different scales.


Strengths of the Programme:

  • Exposure to theory followed by practical exposure to contemporary issues through field work at different scales

  • Strong theoretical foundation in peace and conflict studies

  • Particular emphasis on conflict from different points of view

  • Foundation in how to understand the nexus of environment and development: how to integrate water-related issues in a broader environment and development framework

  • Focus on practical skills - training for actual dispute resolution processes

  • Collaborative and interdisciplinary project work

  • Field experience in both the Global South and Global North contexts

  • Extended networking opportunities from different but complementary fields (water oriented experts and peace and conflict experts).


Additionally, the programme offers the opportunity to undertake fieldwork and hands-on experience in Costa Rica, The Netherlands and USA. Participants are exposed to different case studies, involving diverse challenges and contexts at different scales, which may be local, national, regional or international.

The taught part of the course will begin at UPEACE in Costa Rica, continue at IHE Delft in The Netherlands, and end at OSU in the US. Research will be conducted throughout the duration of the programme. Each student will have one supervisor of one of the three partners depending on the topic of their research.

After completing this Program, I have the strong believe that every expert, working in the field of transboundary water management, needs to study water cooperation and diplomacy. It helped me to broaden my understanding of the complicated relationships among the water users and learn about the global experiences of solving water-related issues.

Bota Sharipova, Kazakhstan

Year of graduation: 2019

For whom?

The content is designed to reach a broad audience, thus no prior knowledge of conflicts and peace studies, nor of the water sector, is required. Preferably  students have some years of relevant work experience or have done other water-related activities. 


Work experience may be directly or indirectly related to water management and from the water sector or other relevant sectors. This may include current or future water managers, decision-makers and others involved in dealing with or interested in the fields of planning, regulating, and managing access, allocation, and control of water resources and services at various scales. Other categories include civil servants from ministries involved in water management, diplomatic staff, local authorities, river basin organizations, professionals from the UN and other international organizations, local and international NGOs, water users’ associations, universities and research institutes, and consultants.


The programme is also relevant for professionals involved in dispute resolution wanting to include water-related issues to their portfolio of activities.


Finally, motivated individuals from another background wanting to change career orientation and work in this field will also be welcome.

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