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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


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. 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 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 transboundary cooperation

Module 6: Operational aspects of water resource management

Module 7:  Learning from the field: Linking IRBM theory to practice

Module 8: Knowledge management and communication


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 take place from 19 August 2022 to 10 September 2022. 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. 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.


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


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.




Date Module Duration
19 August 2022 Introductions to participants, learning resources and resource persons, and training programme (Online session) 0.25 day
22 August 2022


Opening session 0.25 day
Module 1: Conceptual understanding of river basin’s drivers and impact for IRBM 0.75 day
23 August 2022 Module 2: Tools and approaches for understanding biophysical drivers of change 1 day
24 August 2022 Module 4: Governance, policy, and institutional framework 0.5 day
Module 5: Water diplomacy and regional cooperation 0.5 day
25 August 2022 Module 3: Gendered vulnerabilities and the socioeconomic drivers of change 1 day
26 August 2022 Module 6: Operational aspects of water resource management 0.60 day
Module 7: Introduction to field visit to Koshi basin 0.10 day
Visit to the ICIMOD Knowledge Park at Godavari: On-site learning of water resources management 0.40 day
27 August 2022 Module 7: Learning from the field: Linking IRBM theory to practice (Koshi field visit) 1 day
28 August 2022 Module 7: Learning from the field: Linking IRBM theory to practice (Koshi field visit) 1 day
29 August 2022 Module 7: Learning from the field: Linking IRBM theory to practice (Koshi field visit) 1 day
30 August 2022 Break
31 August 2022 Module 8: Knowledge management and communication 0.25 day
Closing session 0.25 day
1–2 September 2022 Travel to Australia
3–9 September 2022 Exposure visit in Australia
10 September 2022 Fly back to home country