Negotiation and Mediation for Water Conflict Management II

The course offers a recap of basic concepts in, and introduces advanced processes related to, conflict resolution and cooperation building.

For whom?

This short course is designed for current and future water managers, decision-makers and others involved in Integrated Water Resources Management. Participants need to have a bachelor degree in a relevant subject (i.e. economics, social sciences, law, engineering, biology) and preferably several years of relevant working experience. Basic knowledge of negotiation techniques is an asset.

Learning objectives

Upon completion, the participant should be able to:

  1. Critically analyze cases of water sharing and use among different actors at different levels and from different sectors, from a conflict and cooperation perspective.
  2. Identify pertinent cooperative frameworks that apply to specific conflict situations and assess their efficiency.
  3. Apply management skills in conflict transformation, strategic planning, and water governance.
  4. Explain and discuss the advantages of mediation processes, and prepare, organize and engage in them as a party and as a mediator for the resolution of shared water disputes.
  5. Explain, discuss and assess other consultation and cooperative processes (e.g. consensus building, public participation), and be able to prepare, organize and engage in them.

Course content

This short course will recap the basic concepts of negotiation. It will also introduce advanced processes that can be used in the prevention, the anticipation or the resolution of conflicts in a transboundary water setting. It will focus on concepts that can be used in the management of multi-party decision making processes The role of the negotiator, the facilitator, the mediator, and the qualities and responsibilities of such players will be highlighted.

The short course will include the following components:

  • Recap of the negotiation process
  • Cases of Water Negotiations
  • Mediation theory and practice
  • Alternative dispute resolution
  • Roles of culture and power
  • Implementation of agreements
  • Case studies of major water and environmental disputes
  • Simulation of a local and/or regional conflict
  • Consensus building processes applied in national and international settings
  • Public participation processes applied in national and international settings

The course provides a good mix of theory and practice, with sufficient attention on skills training. Lectures are combined with exercises and simulation games.


  • UNESCO-IHP-WWAP PCCP: Ms. Léna Salamé
  • UNESCO-IHE: Prof. Joyeeta Gupta, Prof. Pieter van der Zaag
  • The Israel Center for Mediation: Mr. Jonathan Kowarsky
  • Oregon State University: Prof. Aaron Wolf


It is possible to take part in the examination of this short course. If you obtain a passing mark for this examination and return to UNESCO-IHE within four years after completion of the short course to follow a full MSc programme, you will receive exemption for this short course/module. The costs for this exam are €250 extra and should be borne by yourself. Taking part in the examination is not compulsory.


  • Clingendael Institute