For the past five months, I’ve been working on a set of courses focusing on Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), and now we’re ready to launch.
Back in 2018, we competed for a Water for Growth (W4GR) tender to develop these courses. We found out that we’d won the tender at the beginning of 2019, which was really exciting. We’re happy to be working on a completely new assignment with a subject we haven’t explored before.
Once we received the tender, the only question was who would be working on it. I don’t know how it happened, but suddenly everyone was looking at me!
“I think this would be an excellent opportunity to show how much you’ve learnt over the past two years,” Gerry said.
How could I argue with that? So, I set to work writing the introduction course to IWRM and Gerry started developing a technical course on reading maps. Although I’m no water expert, I felt fairly confident. I was more worried about the timeframe than the content, as the final product was due by May 1st.
Gerry, Jan Willem and I had to meet with Water for Growth staff and Rwanda Water and Forestry Authority (RWFA) experts at the beginning of the project. This was to explain the details of how we create our courses, and for them to introduce us to their work. The courses are aimed at three main audiences. These are future catchment committees, students studying IWRM, and anyone generally interested in water management in Rwanda.
We started out with field visits to learn more about IWRM. We travelled out to Gatsibo and Nyagatare, and met people involved in Muvumba catchment. We talked to people, took pictures, and filmed interviews. Back at the office, we sifted through documents from Rwanda Water Portal, and held video interviews with RWFA experts. This gave us the material we needed to build our courses.
We worked with a steering committee to make sure our products were in line with other initiatives in Rwanda. This is an advisory committee representing employers and people who will use the course material in the future. They help to provide feedback on our courses, point out anything that seems confusing, and promote the material once it’s ready. They are vital in helping to improve our finished product.
In mid-March, W4GR organised a big IWRM conference in Rwanda. We went along to present a small demo course to the public. A lot of people had a go and it was fun to watch them discussing the choices. It was also really helpful to receive their feedback afterwards, and helped us to make improvements.
We are currently finalising the two courses: Introduction to IWRM in Rwanda and Reading Maps. You can help us to review the first one here, and you can find the second on the Three Mountains website. Happy learning!