From May 23-27, 2016, a series of on-the-job training workshops on Local Water Security Action Planning (LWSAP) took place in the Tunisian delegations of Nefza, Bir Mchergha, Matmata and Sidi Ali Ben Aoun, all of which are involved in the WaSe component of the “Sustainable Use of Transboundary Water Resources and Water Security Management in the MENA Region” (WATER SUM) project. Each of the four one-day workshops brought together local coordinators, local focal points and all local planning team members.
The LWSAP process developed within the WATER SUM project consists of seven main activities broken down into 20 separate steps. With each delegation having completed successfully the first four activities (among which are “Assessing current status of water security” and “Analysing and prioritising problems”), the main goal of the workshops was to assist each delegation in initiating Activity 5 (“Designing an action plan”), which involves the completion of both Step 10 (“Developing a vision”) and Step 11 (“Defining goals and objectives”). Under the guidance of the project team members, and as a result of intensive facilitated discussion in working groups, workshop participants from each delegation managed to develop a vision for their respective local communities and to define local goals and objectives pertaining to water security.
Workshop participants were also informed of forthcoming activities to be organised under the framework of the Water, Growth and Stability (WGS) Initiative. The WGS Initiative is a framework for creating a knowledge-based platform and a dynamic network of water experts, as well as an e-learning tool for capacity building and the dissemination of lessons learned. The WGS Initiative was launched in April 2016 as an output of the WATER SUM project. The two main objectives of the WGS Initiative are: to support the MENA region and its water stakeholders in advancing water management at national and local levels; and to promote a comprehensive and integrated approach to water security and ecosystem services.