Water Conflict Management

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General information

This short course introduces the basic concepts of water cooperation, conflict prevention and mitigation and provides in-depth skills training. Furthermore, contemporary issues related to transboundary water conflict will be discussed with invited speakers in the field of water governance and conflict resolution. 

This short course will introduce the basic concepts of negotiation processes, determinants of conflict behavior, conflict situations and handling modes as well as methods of effective negotiation; assessments of personal negotiating styles; it will also emphasize the importance of communication. The role of the negotiator and the qualities and responsibilities of a good negotiator will be highlighted.

The short course will include the following components:

  • Introduction to Negotiation Processes.
  • Cases of Water Negotiations.
  • Internal and External Negotiations on Water Management.
  • Multilateral Interstate Negotiations on Disasters.
  • Roles of Culture and Power.
  • Implementation of Agreements.
  • Case studies of major water and environmental disputes.
  • Simulation of a local and/or regional conflict.

The course provides a good mix of theory and practice, with sufficient attention on skills training. Lectures are combined with exercises and simulation games.

The course is jointly offered with UNESCO-IHP-WWAP's programme ‘From Potential Conflict to Cooperation Potential (PCCP)'.

Learning outcome:

Upon completion, the participant should be able to:

  1. Explain, discuss and analyze the basic concepts of conflict management and conflicts related to water.
  2. Discuss and analyze, from a conflict and cooperation perspective, cases of water sharing and use among different actors at different levels and from different sectors.
  3. Discuss, analyze and understand the impact of human activities on water systems and the repercussion on water conflict and cooperation.
  4. Identify, explain and analyze the elements of a negotiation process applied to the management of a water conflict.
  5. Prepare, organize, engage in negotiation processes related to shared water resources with different stakeholders.
  6. Apply a set of skills and tools required for water conflict management through a negotiation process.
Contact Person: Claudia Schutter-Brakel (shortcourses@unesco-ihe.org)


The highlighted icons, represent the fields of education (in compliance with ISCED Classification) engaged during this course/programme.

0312 - Policy and governance", "0421 - Marine and maritime law


Venue: UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education
Delft, Netherlands


Open from
1 Sep 2016 to 6 Feb 2017


Course fee: € 2850


You should at least have a Bachelor Degree in a relevant field of study, some years of working experience and a good command of the English language. This course is designed for current and future water managers, decision-makers and others involved in Integrated Water Resources Management. Participants need to have a bachelor degree in a relevant subject (i.e. economics, social sciences, law, engineering, biology) and preferably several years of relevant working experience.

Application Procedure:

Deadline IHE application: 06 February 2017 - 23.59 (CET)

Grant Opportunities:

Discounts on the tuition fee of online and short courses apply to the following:

  • 30% for UNESCO-IHE alumni
  • 10% for UN family staff members
  • 10% for groups of 5 or more (provided that the course starts at the same time and a group application has been sent)

NFP, MSP and SIDS Fellowships

Most of our short courses are eligible for NFPMSP and SIDS Fellowships. Candidates from eligible countries are always encouraged to apply for one. 

You will need to have academic admission at UNESCO-IHE before you apply for an fellowship. Please be aware that the UNESCO-IHE application deadline and the fellowship application deadlines are different.

The UNESCO-IHE deadline is mentioned on each individual Short Course webpage, the fellowship deadlines are listed here:

You may register by filling out the online application form available at the webpage of the Short Course of your preference. Within 15 working days you will be notified about the outcome of your application. You will receive more details about how to apply for the fellowship when you are academically admitted. In case you would like to be nominated for a NFP/MSP fellowship, please note that you can apply for only one course per deadline.

For fellowships, other than NFP, MSP or SIDS, use Nuffic's grantfinder.

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