Strengthening Capacity for Global Knowledge-Sharing in International Waters (IW:LEARN)
The International Waters Distance Learning Project (IW:LEARN) is an innovative inter-institutional partnership to build a Web-based "knowledge community" among transboundary waters projects. The purpose is to expand knowledge-sharing so that people who live in and manage transboundary water systems can better learn from and teach each other. IW:LEARN will draw upon the experiences and intellectual resources of GEF and its three Implementing Agencies (UNDP, World Bank, and UNEP), co-financing partners, and 40+ regional waters projects.
During Phase 1 (2000-2002), IW:LEARN will:
Train and mobilize a Web-based Implementation Team (representing at least 20 countries) whose members will catalyse and carry out knowledge-sharing activities within and across their respective home projects;
Develop waters-related knowledge products (e.g., courses, seminars, Web sites) to be shared and tested by the IW:LEARN Implementation Team, making use of new communications technologies and drawing upon intellectual resources of the participating projects, UNDP, World Bank, UNEP, and other partners;
Create a globally accessible 'Web space' (i.e., an extranet) dedicated to learning and knowledge-sharing about International Waters, integrating no fewer than 8 support facilities, 30 Community Resource Centre products with individual GEF IW projects, and multiple Portable Resource Centre products for offline access, and dial-up connections from anywhere on the Internet;
Articulate future-oriented methodologies for building Web-based knowledge communities in developing countries, demonstrating results and work-in-progress at the GEF International Waters strategic planning and assessment meetings to be held in 2000 and 2002.
With external co-financing and institutional partnerships, IW:LEARN will intensify Implementation Team training and on-the-ground activities, especially in Africa. With continued global extension of the Internet, Phase 2 (2003-2008) will emphasize regionalisation, scaling up successful virtual community-building methods, and financial models that vastly expand access to learning.