IWE-31306 Water Institutions, Reforms and Equity


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Project learning14
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. P Wester
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. ir. RA Boelens
dr. ir. P Wester
dr. ir. E Rap
Examiner(s)prof. dr. LF Vincent

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

Relevant field experience. Knowledge of irrigation hardware, operation and management and project implementation.

Continuation courses:

MSc Thesis Irrigation and Water Engineering or Integrated Water Management


The course focuses on water reforms in the context of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), by addressing the following main topics: 1. water agencies and institutional change, 2. local water management organizations, and 3. the interactive design process in project implementation. Over the past ten years a growing body of experience and knowledge has developed on the institutional and organizational aspects of irrigation, such as the development of water users organization and participatory irrigation management, participatory design of irrigation infrastructure, strengthening and reform of water bureaucracies, irrigation management transfer, irrigation financing and cost-recovery, and wider water sector reform and policy development. This course covers these topics by presenting concepts and methodologies for analysis and interventions in the organisation of 'government agencies' for irrigation as well as 'local level water management organisations'. This is placed in the context of wider developments in the water sector. Attention is also paid to the management of design processes in view of developing organisational capacity of users and agency staff.

Learning outcomes:

After the course the participants are expected to be able to:
- analyse current concepts and methodologies used for reforming water agencies and the water sector; - apply a method for analysing organizations to water agencies;
- appraise current concepts and methodologies for the improvement of local water management organisations; - argue the importance of the integration of the irrigation design process in project implementation, and ways to improve the participation of the water users in this process;
- know current concepts and methodologies for integrating gender concerns in the reform of water bureaucracies, institutional design of WUAs and irrigation design processes.


Study activities are threefold:
- participants follow in total 13 classes of 4 hours. The first session of the course introduces the themes of the course and the course programme. The thee main subjects will each be dealt with in blocks of two weeks, in which four sessions will be dedicated to lectures and presentations. (52 hours);
- as introduction to the classes literature is studied (44 hours);
- small groups of students will work on assignments covering the 3 main subjects. The group assignments are complementary in order to broaden and deepen the collective learning process. Each group will present their work, followed by discussion. (64 hours).


A mark is given based on the (group) assignments and participation in discussions.


The course reader will be made available at the beginning of the course.

Restricted Optional for: MILInternational Land and Water ManagementMScB: Irrigation and Water Management2AF