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Multiscale Integrated River Basin Management (IRBM) in the Hindu Kush Himalaya


Online via MS Teams

Date & Time

12 November 2021 to 25 November 2021


Santosh Nepal, Neera Shrestha Pradhan & Wade Hadwen

Organized by: ICIMOD, IWC, Griffith University, Alluvium



Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) and Integrated River Basin Management (IRBM) take a holistic approach to managing river basins by considering not just the water within the system, but also the management, sustainable use, and environmental impacts of water and land resources for livelihoods, as well as disaster risk reduction and management of water-related hazards. Both frameworks emphasize the interconnected nature of water bodies across a landscape or a river corridor linking upstream to downstream areas and the lives and livelihoods of all that live in the basin. They promote participatory planning and implementation processes that bring stakeholders together to make collective decisions. In the context of the Himalayan region, it is important to consider multiscale IRBM, where issues and related implications are inter-connected across micro to macro scales, especially in terms of benefit and risk-sharing related to water resources management decisions.

This training programme aims to emphasize the value of IRBM across the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH). The training comprises seven modules that bring together theoretical and applied real-world examples of the thematic areas and sub-topics. The participants will be exposed to both biophysical and social science concepts related to IRBM, which will enable them to understand the complex issues, impacts and responses to water management in diverse HKH river basins. We are organizing this training programme with our Australian partners – Alluvium International, Griffith University, and International Water Centre – and with funding support from the Australian Aid/Australian Water Partnership.


GEDSI focus

We will be incorporating Gender Equality, Disability, and Social Inclusion (GEDSI) into the overarching content of all the modules and the range of case studies to be presented in them. The GEDSI-modified modules and case studies will strengthen participants’ capacity to recognise the specific socio-cultural contexts for, and their identification of, the intersections of forms of social exclusion that impact people’s capacity to manage, withstand and adapt both within their organizations and the broader community with respect to IRBM.


Module content

The seven modules will be delivered by experts from ICIMOD and Australia-based partners, and broadly cover the following topics:

Module number Module brief
Module 1 Conceptual understanding of river basin’s drivers and impact for IRBM
Module 2 Tools and approaches for understanding biophysical drivers of change
Module 3 Gendered vulnerabilities and the socioeconomic drivers of change
Module 4 Governance, policy and institutional framework
Module 5 Water diplomacy and regional cooperation
Module 6 Operational aspects of WRM (Response, good practices, organizations, stakeholders)
Module 7 Knowledge management and communication
Module delivery

The training will take place virtually in November 2021. It will be tailored to include individual learning plans for each participant. It will require participants to engage with the course coordinators and other specialists (as required) to explore how they might incorporate the learning into their work after the intensive delivery. We will facilitate frequent online exchanges (every two months) to explore barriers and opportunities to further develop participants’ capacity and leadership skills to enable the IRBM concepts to become embedded in their roles within the organizations.

All module delivery will comprise a mix of presentations and discussions, and facilitated through a professional learning hub system to enable participants to engage and exchange ideas. Participants will be encouraged to share their experience and expertise with the wider group to foster a strong sense of collaborative learning across the diverse geographic and political domains throughout the HKH region.


Training objectives
  • Increase the awareness of all participants of the concepts and practical application of multiscale IRBM
  • Explore the opportunities for IRBM and multidisciplinary planning across the diverse HKH region
  • Engage participants in learning through discussion and activities with counterparts from across the HKH region


Anticipated outcomes

At the end of the training, the participants will be able to:

  • Understand and articulate the concept of IRBM and how it relates to their work in the HKH region
  • Use tools and approaches that facilitate an IRBM approach to understanding river basins and impacts of management interventions
  • Demonstrate an improved understanding of water governance and institutional frameworks, water diplomacy, regional cooperation, socio-economic issues, including the importance of GEDSI, and operational aspects of water resource management


Draft agenda for online IRBM training (Detail agenda will be provided to the participants)
Date Module Duration
12 Nov 2021 Day Zero: Introductions to participants, learning resources and resource persons, and training programme 0.25 day
15 Nov 2021 Module 1: Conceptual understanding of river basin’s drivers and impact for IRBM 0.5 day
16 Nov 2021 Module 1: Conceptual understanding of river basin’s drivers and impact for IRBM (continued…) 0.5 day
17 Nov 2021 Module 2: Tools and approaches for understanding biophysical drivers of change 0.5 day
18 Nov 2021 Module 3: Gendered vulnerabilities and the socioeconomic drivers of change 0.5 day
19 Nov 2021 Module 4: Governance, policy and institutional framework 0.5 day
20-21 Nov 2021 Break
22 Nov 2021 Module 5: Water diplomacy and regional cooperation 0.5 day
23 Nov 2021 Module 6: Operational aspects of WRM (Response, good practices, organizations, stakeholders) 0.5 day
24 Nov 2021 Module 7: Knowledge management and communication 0.5 day
25 Nov 2021 Closing session and evaluation of the training programme 0.25 day

After the online training sessions, all participants will be supported to explore opportunities for IRBM integration into their work within their organisations. This will be facilitated by regular individual and group meetings with the Course Coordinators.


Draft timeline for post-intensive meetings and support to integrate IRBM into work
Date Activity Duration
Dec 2021 Individual meetings with Course Coordinator to explore opportunities for IRBM in work 1 hour
Feb 2022 Group meetings focusing on identifying common barriers or challenges of implementing IRBM 2 hours
April 2022 Individual meetings to track progress 1 hour
June 2022 Small group meetings to foster exchange of ideas and peer-to-peer support 2 hours
August 2022 Group meetings – sharing back experiences of implementing IRBM and tracer survey 3 hours


Course coordinators:


Wade Hadwe


Ganesh Pangare

Tony Weber

Helen Johnson

Helen Johnson

Andrew Johnson

David Winfield

Karlene Maywald

Ross Hardie

Brian McIntosh

Adrian Volders