Summer Course – Water Diplomacy

IHE DElft Water Diplomacy

Target Audience

Water professionals, water diplomats or professionals involved in water diplomacy activities interested in broadening their understanding of concepts, challenges and tools relating to water diplomacy. These range from the resource itself to the skills required to navigate and manage water-related disputes.


This course will expose participants to the contested concept of water diplomacy and provide them with knowledge, tools and skills to understand and engage with situations of potential or existing water related conflicts. Case studies will illustrate key aspects of water diplomacy.

The course will be delivered through a combination of lectures, group activities and role-plays, including the Libra game. The role-plays will allow participants to practice negotiation techniques thus enhancing their skills. Exercises such as stakeholder analysis will also be conducted to understand how to better approach conflict situations.

Two IHE Delft partners will contribute their expertise to the course: the Clingendael Institute with negotiation skills training and the Transboundary Water Management group at SIWI with its first-hand experience and case studies relevant to water diplomacy.

Programme overview

Day 1: water diplomacy (key issues and challenges); conflict resolution mechanisms; negotiations introduction
Day 2: water conflict management framework; negotiations continued
Day 3: case studies
Day 4: role play
Day 5: negotiations continued; wrap-up

Learning Objectives

Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
1. Critically discuss the concept of water diplomacy and its implications
2. Identify and understand key concepts, relevant frameworks and challenges relating to water conflict and cooperation, including interdependencies (climate change, food, energy, etc.)
3. Distinguish between different conflict resolution mechanisms
4. Apply an analytical framework to prepare for, engage with and resolve latent or actual water-related disputes
5. Understand, recognize and respond to water negotiation processes
6. Apply acquired skills and competencies in negotiation in the context of water projects, including dealing with uncertainty, science, and deadlocks in negotiations