UNESCO train session 2 - Institute of Environmental and Water

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
• 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
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
• [2001] 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
• [2001] 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
• [2007] 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
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!

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