In late 2011, twenty Indonesian officials from the Ministry of National Development Planning, Ministry of Public Works, and the Directorate for Water and Irrigation completed a three week Australia Awards Fellowship program at the International Water Centre in Brisbane.
The provision of adequate water and sanitation is a key priority identified in Millennium Development Goal 7. Studies conducted in 2010 show that roughly 80 per cent of Indonesia’s population cannot access piped drinking water.
However, Indonesia is experiencing increased flooding, climate change affects, worsening water quality, pollution and degradation of watersheds and ecosystems. They plan to improve water and sanitation services to improve environmental and human health by using an Integrated Water Resource Management Approach.
Australia is a world leader in water sector reform and integrated water resource management and can provide expert assistance to Indonesia in adapting to the increasing demands on its water sector.
The aim of the Fellowship was enable a wide variety of Indonesian government staff and organisations to see the value in tackling these water issues through the Integrated Water Resource Management approach.
AusAID provided $236,000 in grant funding to deliver the Fellowship, it provided the officials with the tools and expertise to implement Integrated Water Resource Management approaches when designing new water and sanitation policies and programs throughout Indonesia.
The fellows benefited from a combination of academic studies—lectures, workshops, site visits, and presentations with leading researchers from a range of top Australian universities.
The case studies highlighted the differences between Indonesia and Australia and the areas where 'transplanted' strategies will not work due to economic, social and environmental limitations.
Both the Australian host organisation and their Indonesian partner organisations rated the Fellowship a success for building the counterpart’s capacity for water and sanitation management and for strengthening the relationships between all organisations involved.
Fellows cited the opportunity to spend significant amounts of time with colleagues (within the same government division) and counterparts (from other government divisions) to discuss the challenges around water management in Indonesia as one of the most valuable aspects of the Fellowship.
About Australia Awards Fellowships
Australia Award Fellowships is a competitive grants program, established in 2006 to fund short-term in-Australia study, research and professional development activities, hosted by Australian organisations. It targets senior and mid-career professionals in eligible developing countries who will be in a position to advance key regional development priorities and increase institutional capacities. The aim of the program is to develop leadership, address priority development issues, and build partnerships and linkages between Australian organisations and partner organisations in developing countries.
Round 14 of the Australia Awards Fellowships opens on 13 May 2013.