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Professional training course

Multi-scale Integrated River Basin Management in the Hindu Kush Himalaya



Date & Time

19 August 2022 to 10 September 2022


Neera Shrestha Pradhan

Why apply for a place on this course?

The sustainable development and use of water and land resources across the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) requires an integrated, whole-of-river-basin approach that encompasses different scales – multi-scale Integrated River Basin Management (IRBM). This course will provide an immersive and practical professional learning experience delivered by regional (HKH) and international (Australian) experts to build knowledge and key skills for applying IRBM frameworks, tools, and approaches. The course will include a range of electronic learning resources, a field course in the Koshi Basin, and a study intensive to Australia. The course will involve group learning and individual work-based coaching to help participants apply lessons learned. Finally, the course will provide a way of building a network of IRBM-committed professionals from across the HKH.



As a river passes through from the headwaters (upstream) to the floodplains (downstream), it connects both the opportunities and hazards and other different elements of a river basin. Improved land and water management system are important for sustainable livelihoods and climate benefits. The IRBM concept is being widely adopted because it provides a holistic approach to river basin management. IRBM takes into consideration not just the water within the river 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. The river basin management approach can be focused at local, watershed, river basin, or transboundary levels.

The IRBM approach improves the coordination of stakeholders at different scales and from different sectors such that the resource can be managed efficiently. It is a particular adaptation of the principles of Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM), which has been part of global water resources management discourse since as early as the 1990s. IRBM adapts the principles of IWRM to a river system or a lake basin. Both management frameworks promote participatory planning and implementation processes that bring stakeholders together to make collective decisions about their water resources. They focus on the interconnected nature of water bodies across a landscape or a river corridor, linking headwaters to downstream areas.


About the course

Realising the importance of IRBM, ICIMOD, Griffith University, International WaterCentre, and Alluvium, with support from Australian Water Partnership, have come together to co-create this training on multi-scale IRBM. As IRBM is not achieved through a single event, a series of events from 2019 to 2022 are planned for the success of this programme. It focuses on the content of IRBM approaches/processes and application of IRBM at work. It mainly aims to increase the capability of the participants through skill development. During this training, ICIMOD and partner organisations come together to provide the training incorporating the participants from the Himalayan region. The training covers eight different modules, which includes both conceptual perspectives and real-world examples related to IRBM. All modules comprise the vibrant and rigorous mix of presentations, group activities, and discussions within an overall integrated learning approach.


Training course structure

The course for the year 2022 is designed for people in mid to senior management positions related to river basin planning in some way. Participants will be exposed to both biophysical and social science aspects of IRBM, which will enable them to understand the complex issues, impacts, and responses to water management throughout the diverse HKH river basins. It will include the following modules:

Module 1: Conceptual understanding of river basin drivers and their implications for IRBM

Module 2: Tools and approaches for understanding the biophysical changes

Module 3: Gendered vulnerabilities and the socioeconomic drivers of change

Module 4: Governance, policy, and institutional framework

Module 5: Water diplomacy and transboundary cooperation

Module 6: Operational aspects of water and land management

Module 7: Knowledge management and communication

Module 8: Learning from the field: Linking IRBM theory to practice


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 organisations and the broader community with respect to IRBM.


Training delivery

The training will be hybrid; we will have both in-person and online sessions. The training will be physically held at the ICIMOD headquarters in Kathmandu. Along with the in-person training, a few hours (1–2) will be allocated each day for online presentations. The training will include group works, presentations, and interactive sessions. During the training in Kathmandu, the participants will travel to the Koshi Basin for an intensive field visit. Likewise, after the training in Kathmandu, the participants will fly to Australia for an exposure visit.

Dates: Total 19 days from 22 August 2022 (course days = 14 + travel = 5–6 days) (Online orientation: 1 day before the training)


Expected outcomes from the training

Following this training, the participants will be able to:

  • Understand and articulate the concept of IRBM and relate it to their work through presentations and exposure visits.
  • Use tools and approaches for facilitating the IRBM approach in understanding river basins and facilitating management interventions.
  • Demonstrate an improved understanding of water governance and institutional frameworks, water diplomacy, regional cooperation, socioeconomic issues (including the importance of GEDSI), and operational aspects of water resource management
  • Apply the new concepts from the training in their work.


Criteria for selection of participants

Tweleve participants from the HKH member countries (two from each country) will be selected across government and non-government organisations working in the field of IRBM. The participants will be selected on the basis of the selection criteria presented below.

Age and language: Applicants must be 35–55 years old, in mid-to-senior level management position, and possessing a good grasp of English.

Experience in IRBM: Applications must have an academic degree(s) in water resource management (or similar) and five years of work experience in IWRM/IRBM, or over 10 years of working exposure in IWRM/IRBM. Contributions to professional and/or academic literature in IWRM/IRBM is an added advantage.

Potential to influence IRBM approach: Preference will be given to applicants with work roles related to IRBM; proven ability to influence science, policy, and institutional orientation to IRBM; and/or have made significant contributions to the water resources literature.

Institutional affiliation and commitment: Applicants must be employed by their applying institution for a minimum of three years before the application date. Affiliation with a national, regional, or international institution or academic institution with considerable influence in or contribution to water management is desirable. Applicants must submit a letter from their employer institution committing to maintain and support their IRBM role/responsibilities.

GEDSI: GEDSI principles strongly encourage the inclusion of women, people with different abilities, indigenous people, and ethnic minorities. Applicants with experience addressing GEDSI in their work (project design/planning/implementation and outcomes, publications, or other evidence) can also apply.

Commitment to IRBM: Applicants must commit to contributing to their organisation and/or future projects through the application of an individual development plan or joint publication/s on IRBM (at local, regional, or national scale) upon completion of training.


Participants’ commitment:

  1. Must commit to entire training days in Nepal and Australia. The organisers will not change the travel plan (tickets) once selected for the training.
  2. Committed to applying the new concepts obtained from the training in their own IRBM work.
  3. Must commit to learning sessions beyond the training and participate in tracer survey.


Application process

Interested and eligible candidates are requested to submit their application online before 15 July 2022, 16:00 Nepal Standard Time. Shortlisted candidates will be informed towards the end of July 2022.

Please fill the online form HERE 

If you have any difficulties submitting the form, please write to Kabiraj Khatiwada (Kabiraj.khatiwada@icimod.org) or Tarika Gulati (tarika.gulati@alluvium.com.au). If you need any further information about the training, please write to Neera Shrestha Pradhan at neera.pradhan@icimod.org.

We request you to pass this information along to interested colleagues and peers.

Application form

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