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Water Security for Policy Makers and Practitioners short course


“We need to shift our focus from the availability of water to the ways in which it is managed and distributed, in our analysis of water security.”
Dr Jessica Buds, Senior Lecturer in Geography and Development

“Water security not only prevents sickness and death, it improves wellbeing and quality of life. It is a process which can enable individuals and communities to engage in activities that are meaningful to them and productive. It can allow people opportunity and choice to direct their energy into activities that they value, and afford them freedom to realise their full potential.”
Jo-Anna Geere, Lecturer in Health Sciences

Course dates

Week commencing 7th June 2021


Securing water for all is a global challenge for all countries. On this short course, you’ll develop a broad and cross-disciplinary understanding of water security and its related dimensions. You’ll focus on how water security for human populations is socially and politically determined, and the consequences of water insecurity on a range of stakeholders and environments. You will benefit from our in-depth understanding of interrelated issues to think about how to co-create water secure futures.

Course Structure

You’ll focus on the concept of ‘Water Security’, as a complex set of processes related to access to water for human needs and wellbeing, and considering social and political relations, environments, climate, and health. Indicative topics covered include:

  • The hydro-social cycle, relationships between water and society
  • Definitions of water security, representations of the ‘Global Water Crisis’ and water challenges Institutions, governance and politics
  • Climate, large-scale water uses and ecosystems
  • Water-related hazards, water and sanitation, and health

Course Aims

  • facilitate a cross-disciplinary understanding of water security to build on existing knowledge of water issues amongst diverse stakeholders
  • examine how water security is socially and politically determined, shifting the focus from the supply of water to the nature of water-society relations, to understand the interrelated impacts of climate, hydrology, legal-institutional frameworks, social dynamics, and infrastructure
  • explore how to co-create water secure futures Who is this course for? You will be employees of government agencies, NGOs, international agencies and private organisations. This course will be especially relevant if you are a professional who does not have an existing specialism in the field, but you have new responsibility or interest in the integration of water security into development planning, projects and policy. Recent participants have included employees of national ministries of environment, agriculture, planning, and finance, from countries worldwide, and staff of organisations such as ICIMOD, DfID, JICA, BMZ, ADB, UNDP, UNEP, FAO, Oxfam, Red Cross, IFC, WHO, UNICEF, ILO.

Course Directors

Dr Jessica Budds and Dr Jo-Anne Geere

Dr Jessica Budds is Associate Professor in Geography and International Development at the School of International Development, University of East Anglia. Jessica’s work focuses on the relationship between economic development, water governance, and access to water among low-income groups in the Global South, particularly in South America. She explores how economic change influences the nature of water flows, infrastructure, institutions, policies, and dominant representations of water, often in ways that promote or sustain financial investment and political power.

Dr Jo-Anne Geere is a Physiotherapy Lecturer in the School of Health Sciences, University of East Anglia. Jo-Anne’s current research focuses on the health impacts of fetching water, and community based collection of water access and health data using mobile devices. She has also conducted secondary analyses of Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICs) to explore relationships between household water access and public health. She has been involved in research investigating domestic and informal work in Kenya and South Africa, particularly as it affects people in low income regions or with disability.

Course Requirements

No prior knowledge or special skills are required, however you’ll have a genuine interest in learning about water security and development. The course is conducted in English. It is essential that you have full competence in English, both written and spoken.

Tuition Fees and Funding

£1,890 – includes all tuition, course materials, daily lunches and refreshments, and an evening networking dinner.

For bookings made by 1 March 2020 there will be a 15% reduction to £1,606.

The School of International Development is unable to offer scholarships to attend this course. You are expected to secure your own funding.

Tailor made training

We are able to offer tailor-made training courses drawing on our expertise, which can be delivered in the UK or overseas. For enquiries about tailor-made training, please contact the Centre Director in the first instance.