20 Years of Dutch-Palestinian Relations: From Perceptions to Cooperation Rashed Al-Sa`ed Associate Professor of Sanitary & Environmental Engineering Institute of Environmental & Water Studies (IEWS) Birzeit University (BZU), Birzeit, Palestine First Palestinian Water Forum 28 May 2014, Birzeit University, Palestine Outline • Trends in Palestinian water and sanitation services • Cooperation between Dutch academic institutions-BZU in water and sanitation sectors o Training & MSc programs; R&D; partnership and networking • Was the cooperation successful? o Measurable impacts in facts and figures o Pitfalls and setbacks • And what next? Water and Sanitation Services in Palestine: Current Main Trends • • • • • • • Environmental awareness Regulation [N & P & odors) Energy costs Sludge disposal costs Chemicals costs Fresh water price Regional political constraints • Water availability/accessibility • Available land for WWTPs • Financial aids for desalination • Infrastructure quality (aging) • Cost recovery/sustainability • Water governance (enforcement) Dutch Academic Institutions-BZU Cooperation 1994: First training programs in water and sanitation IHE-Delft and Birzeit University organized a Training Program for about 40 Palestinian Professionals Technical Training Modules - IWRM, hydrology, groundwater modeling - Water quality, supply and treatment - Wastewater engineering, facility design, OM&R - Waste management, cleaner production, landfills Germany: GIZ [GTZ-Invent] Technical Training Program, 1995 Dutch Academic Institutions-BZU Cooperation [1994 - 1998] Capacity Building-M.Sc. Research • About 70 Palestinians got NFP fellowships for M.Sc. studies at IHE-Delft, The Netherlands [1997 - 2004] Capacity Building-M.Sc. & Ph.D. Research • BZU-IHE launched a joint project “WAter Sector CApacity Building in PALestine” (WASCAPAL) o Establishing two M.Sc. programs in Water Sciences and Water Engineering as well as a water laboratory at Birzeit University o Short-Intensive educational missions from IHE staff at BZU o Two Ph.D. candidates obtained their degrees from TU-Delft and UNESCO-IHE and returned to work at Birzeit University Dutch Academic Institutions-BZU Cooperation [1997 - 2004] Capacity Building-M.Sc. & Ph.D. Research • BZU- Wageningen University launched a joint project “Capacity building on Wastewater Valorization for Agricultural production in the Middle East area by using low-cost treatment technologies (WASTEVAL I; WASTEVAL II) o Selective Palestinian M.Sc. students obtained fellowships at BZU o One PhD candidate obtained his degree from Wageningen University and returned to work at Birzeit University Alternative Treatment Technologies & Effluent Reclamation for Reuse Reclamation option & reuse guideline Hygienic aspects and effluent quality Dutch Academic Institutions-BZU Cooperation •  Institute of Water Studies (IWS) o IWS was created and officially registered at Birzeit University o IHE short education missions with 2 local staff members •  Partnership for Water Education and Research (PoWER) o Lead by UNESCO-IHE and jointly conducted by other 17 international academic and research agencies including IWS o IWS obtained the status as a “Collaborative Centre of UNESCO-IHE Institute of Water Education”. Dutch Academic Institutions-BZU Cooperation • [2002-2014] Supported by PoWER initiative, IEWS was involved in a large number of joint research and educational projects o Many small research projects were conducted o PoWER Newsletter edited and issued by IEWS [12 issues] o One Ph.D. returnee got a post-doctoral position •  IWS restructured into Institute of Environmental and Water Studies (IEWS) o TEMPUS, EU funded project lead by BZU, the MSc programs were upgraded to “Water and Environmental Engineering” & “Water and Environmental Sciences” o New M.Sc. Courses developed and old ones updated Dutch Academic Institutions-BZU Cooperation • [2012-2016] Palestinian-Dutch Academic Consortium on Water (PADUCO) o PADUCO was established between 5 Palestinian Universities (Birzeit, An-Najah, Al-Quds, Kadoorie, and Polytechnic) and o 5 Dutch Universities (Twente, Maastricht School of Management, TUDelft, Wageningen and UNESCO-IHE) o Small joint research projects are screened and financially supported for the first phase: M.Sc. Fellowships, pilot & lab scale units, etc.. o The consortium is supported by the Netherlands Representative Office in Ramallah [NRO-Ramallah] Was Cooperation Successful? Measurable impacts in facts and figures M.Sc. Programs: More than 150 students graduated from BZU M.Sc. Programs Tens of M.Sc. Alumni have lead positions in governmental agencies, NGOs, and private sector 14 Alumni of BZU M.Sc. Programs got Ph.D. degrees and are working R&D projects: Three Ph.D. holders are working at BZU More than 50 article published in refereed journals [5 PhD faculty] Research Lab upgraded with equipment, bench scale pilots and lab tools Partnerships & Community Services: Sustainable partnerships and durable networking with Dutch Universities Several local training and community service programs conducted Feasibility and detailed design of sanitation infrastructures performed Was Cooperation Successful? Pitfalls and setbacks Former Head of M.Sc. Programs left while being abroad A Ph.D. candidate quitted amid of her thesis works [Sanitary] A Ph.D. candidate failed finalizing his Ph.D. proposal [Hydrology] A Ph.D. candidate was about to leave during his final thesis writing A Ph.D. candidate faced difficulties performing experimental works locally M.Sc. Degree in Hydrology concentration frozen Decreased enrolment of new students in M.Sc. Programs [Science] Little staff exchange between partnerships members Occasional BZU reforms in administrative and academic regulations And What Next? Forum Topics •Gaza crises reduction: water, sanitation and energy? •Role of private sector: PPT initiatives? •How link R&D efforts to the national sector needs? •Improve employment, governance & donor aid coordination? Through dry, still water and energy rich!