Myanmar’s Batch 4 Young Water Professionals graduate and program impacts are assessed

The Myanmar National Water Resources Committee Young Water Professionals (YWPs) Batch 4 graduated on 30 May at a ceremony held at the Yangon Technological University in Myanmar. The Australian Water Partnership’s (AWP) Myanmar Coordinator, Mr Rory Hunter, attended and provided congratulatory remarks at the Graduation Ceremony.

“The AWP is pleased to be able to support to the YWP Program,” said Mr Hunter. “The program is improving each year and the YWP Alumni are going on to make an important contribution to the water reform journey in Myanmar.”

For many, the YWP Program is the first opportunity to collaborate between key Government sectors and different stakeholders in solving complex problems in water resources management. It is a rolling one-year program in which young people from government, civil society and private sector in Myanmar receive mentoring and training in various water-resources related technical subjects.

This is the third year that Australia has supported the program, which has been managed and coordinated by WaterAid Australia. Highlights from YWP Batch 4 include:

  • supporting the YWPs to participate in the Emerging Water Professionals Program as part of the International Riversymposium in Sydney;
  • an ‘Introduction to Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM)’ short course delivered by the International WaterCentre; and
  • participation of YWPs in the Ayeyarwady Basin Exploratory Scoping Study (BESS) policy course conducted by the CSIRO.

The Program remains the centrepiece of Australia’s support for enhancing capacity development in IWRM and AWP has committed to supporting YWP Batch 5 & 6. The AWP recently appointed a team from the University of Adelaide’s Centre for Global Food and Resources (CGFAR) to review the progress of the YWP capacity development program and provide recommendations for enhancing the program.

Project Leader Dr Jay Cummins visited the Myanmar Hydro-Informatics Centre in Yangon to undertake the in-country component of the evaluation, which was purposely designed to assess the impact and support that past participants of the YWP Program were receiving in their employment. Dr Cummins also met with the YWP alumni and all the local organisations engaged in the delivery of capacity building and training.

YWP Alumni participate in a practical workshop assessment exercise

YWP Alumni capably demonstrated skills and knowledge gained through the YWP Program in a practical workshop assessment exercise conducted by Dr Jay Cummins during his review of the Program.

“The significant impact of the YWP program is apparent”, said Dr Cummins. “Without a doubt, everyone who is involved in the program is extremely committed and passionate about the cause.”

Dr Cummins reported the greatest impact of the YWP Program amongst graduates included the ability to solve complex water-related problems in a practical and integrated manner, the recognition of the importance of working across sectors collaboratively, and increased technical and presentation skills and importantly confidence in undertaking professional roles in the Myanmar water sector.

The review will also provide a range of recommendations designed to enhance the delivery and management of the program to help ensure continued success and impact.

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