Learning theory in practice in capacity development for improved water management. Some cases from international development. Bouke Ottow and Bobby Russell

In this presentation we state that technical experts, like in a knowledge institute as Deltares, can improve the effectiveness of their capacity building activities with the application of good learning theory.

Like Comment

Bouke Ottow

sr advisor water management, participation and capacity building, Deltares

In the past 30+ years I have worked in capacity building and stakeholder engagement in different countries in most continents (unfortunately not yet in Antarctica....). The countries I have worked in most are: the Netherlands (no surprise), Indonesia and Kenya. In my work I like to contribute to people's ability to understand their environment (including other people) and make well-informed choices.
0 Contributions
0 Following


Go to the profile of José Raúl Pérez Durán
about 1 year ago

Very god to learn from these Deltare cases on Learning theory in practice in capacity development for improved water management. Well made presentation by Bouke Ottow and Bobby Russell.  I enjoyed knowing about the challenges, modalities used in learning process in Moldova, Kenya and Rwanda, as well as learning about the approach to learning, the water specialist as and “andragogist”, and constructive alignment of learning. I am familiar the wrog approach to transfer of knowledge as experiences in my country, the Dominican Republic, were the consultants and experts come, and in their last two da before taking a plane to leave the country they show-up a nice benefactor face to “teach for 6 hours through what is absolutely an unpractical method to teach, much less to learn.  The experts are not necessarily good teachers to start.


The other wrong approach is experts seeing community and farming or irrigation water user associations as unfit for learning, when in fact they are fit for teaching him one or two lessons about flooding for example, because they are the real experts in floods. The foreign consultants  sometimes has never been in the midst of a flooded area and these local fellows know what it is to be flooded to their neck and even above their heads, so they are the real experts who know the “psychology of the river”, the “behavior” of the river, something one cannot learn unless living inside this flood prone areas or humbly ask the locals to teach you. It is a good advice to any pretender to be “teacher” or expert is that they become familiar with the local settings, and also becomes students and learner first from or of the local reality and very wise farmers and water users.


José Raúl Pérez Durán (INDRHI – water resources institute - Dominican Republic)