GEF IW:LEARN's Goals and Services
The GEF International Waters Learning Exchange and Resource Network promotes experience sharing and learning among GEF International Waters projects, country officials, implementing agencies, and other partners. The overall goal of IW: LEARN is to strengthen transboundary water management around the globe by collecting and sharing best practices, lessons learned, and innovative solutions to common problems. IW: LEARN also aims to strengthen the International Waters portfolio as a whole by promoting dialogue, knowledge sharing, and replication between projects.
IW: LEARN’s website serves as the GEF International Waters’ premiere archive and data collection service. On this site numerous Transboundary Diagnostic Analyses and Strategic Action Programmes from projects around the world, case studies and best practices, news and events related to International Waters, and targeted knowledge sharing tools are made available to IW practitioners and the wider public. IW: LEARN’s website also hosts the unique Portfolio Visualization Tool and Portfolio Results Archive that allow the impacts of GEF interventions across the world to be quickly discovered and analyzed. Outputs from GEF International Waters Conferences, guidance materials and reports from IW: LEARN workshops are also available to further the experiences of projects across a wide array of audiences.
KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT: WWW.IWLEARN.NET
iwlearn.net is a content management system supporting knowledge sharing in the GEF IW portfolio. It contains project-related information, contacts, documents (e.g. case studies, Transboundary Diagnostic Analyses, Strategic Action Programmes), events and news syndication feeds. Services like vacancy announcements, blogs, email lists and IW project website archiving are provided.. Digital outputs from GEF IW Conferences, guidance materials and products of GEF IW:LEARN or water-related learning are freely available.
PORTFOLIO-WIDE LEARNING: BIENNIAL GEF INTERNATIONAL WATERS CONFERENCES (IWC)
www.iwlearn.net/iwc iwc2013, iwc2011, iwc2009, iwc2007, iwc2005, iwc2002, iwc2000
The GEF IWC is the pivotal learning event in a dynamic two-year learning cycle. Since 2000, the IWC has progressed from a portfolio-wide stock-taking exercise into a participative active learning forum. IWCs convene on average 300 participants from about 70 projects and at least 80 countries to share practical experience, apply evolving policies and procedures, address emerging priorities and improve overall project performance.
TECHNICAL SUPPORT SERVICES
Training and technical support help projects create or upgrade websites to improve information management. Services include website development, hosting, establishment, facilitation, use of the GEF IW:LEARN website toolkit, and specialized assistance in developing and deploying tools such as GIS and visual data or graphics.
PROJECT-PROJECT LEARNING EXCHANGES/TWINNING EXERCISES
Facilitated twinning exercises and multi-day/week interactions among GEF IW projects and learning exchange partners address specific, pragmatic IW management challenges. Whether multi-project workshops or single-project study tours, exchanges promote peer learning and South-to-South cooperation, and often produce Experience Notes of value to other IW projects.
Technical workshops are developed and delivered to address common capacity building needs for groups of GEF IW projects and their partners, with a focus on transboundary ecosystems (rivers, lakes, groundwater, Large Marine Ecosystems, coral reefs) and priority governance and management topics, including public participation, economic valuation, IWRM, payment for ecosystem services, information management and environmental flows.
REGIONAL DIALOGUE PROCESSES
To foster transboundary and South-to-South cooperation among projects and national partners within a geographic region, financial and technical assistance to GEF IW projects and partners helps convene and support regional dialogue processes. To date, GEF IW:LEARN's direct involvement has actively involved GEF IW projects in five regional dialogue processes - in the Caribbean, Africa, Eastern Europe, and two major Petersberg Process dialogues in Southeastern Europe and Africa.
OUTREACH: INFORMATION CAPTURE, SYNTHESIS, DISSEMINATION
www.iwlearn.net/experience & www.iwlearn.net/ebulletin
Outreach and communications support & services help to increase awareness, scalability, replication, impact and sustainability of GEF IW investments. Production of knowledge-sharing materials includes multimedia products (Gender & Water exhibit, LME DVD “Turning the Tide”), as well as targeted materials, including an LME Governance Manual, Public Participation Handbook and Communicating for Results Guide, as well as GEF IW Experience Notes (short case studies), and IW newsletters (Bridges and E-Bulletin).
COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE (CoP) SUPPORT
A new portfolio workspace system, serving various online communities of practice (subsets of the IW portfolio), such as Surface Freshwater Projects, Groundwater, Nutrient Reduction, the Coral Triangle Initiative and others. CoPs also facilitate South-to-South networking at the regional level (e.g. Latin America and the Caribbean) and share knowledge on scientific and technical innovation such as constructed wetlands and nutrient management, inter alia. The workspace features social networking functionality, including a variety of Web 2.0 knowledge-sharing tools such as wikis, blogs and other interactive tools that stakeholders are drawn to visit and contribute to.
SUPPORT TO GLOBAL DIALOGUES
Provision of travel support enables selected GEF IW projects to participate in IW-pertinent global policy dialogues. GEF IW representatives contribute practical experience & results and simultaneously benefit from knowledge & networking in international consultative processes such as the World Water Forum, Committee on Sustainable Development, Nitrogen Initiative, UNICPOLOS, Nairobi Work Programme, UN Water Decade, inter alia.
REFERRAL SERVICE (HELP DESK)
GEF IW:LEARN functions as knowledge-sharing and exchange hub to facilitate experiential learning and address issues faced by one project which may have been resolved by another (or outside the GEF IW community). In addition, GEF IW:LEARN’s electronic forums serve as a vehicle for IW job postings and requests for assistance.
GEF AGENCY SUPPORT TO TRANSBOUNDARY WATERS LEARNING
GEF IW:LEARN also aids in linking and sharing GEF Agencies' internal IW learning and knowledge management efforts across agencies and focal areas, so that a coherent whole may be more beneficial than the sum of its parts in advancing GEF strategic objectives. Coordination among focal areas in South-to-South learning is increasingly needed to achieve Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and adapt to climate change at the ecosystem scale.
In addition to the regular service line above, the current phase of the project will run specialized activities. In particular, the project will provide critical support to the MENARID strategic programme on issues of managing groundwater in that highly stressed region. The project will also deliver a new IW Project Manager/Focal Area Manual and Course, a revision to the TDA-SAP Course and Methodology, new Guidance on Private Sector Engagement, on Mainstreaming Climatic Variability & Change, a pilot of index-insurance to manage flood risk, an IW Journal, the first-ever IW Science Conference in 2012, a Portfolio Visualization Tool, a Project Results Archive and new Global Communities of Practice for Groundwater, Rivers and Lake basin projects. More details on this are available in the current activities section.
Rest of About IW:LEARN
To learn more about GEF IW:LEARN please read the other following sections:
- Current Activities, a full list of the current activities currently under implementation in this phase of IW:LEARN.
- Project Coordination Unit, information on who helps operate IW:LEARN and what their roles and responsibilities are.
- Project Structure and Partners, a full description of the IW:LEARN institutional arrangements, steering committee and project executing partners.
- History of IW:LEARN, an archive of several files and pages pertaining to the previous phases of IW:LEARN.
- Outreach and Publications, IW:LEARN's outreach and knowledge products
- Evaluation and Impacts of IW:LEARN, a page capturing facts & figures on the project, a look at its impacts, as well as all independent evaluations of the project's various phases.
- Events, IW:LEARN's events around the globe, including in particular the International Waters Conference
For more information directly from IW:LEARN's management or project coordination unit, please CONTACT US