COmmUNICatION aNd markEtINg A positive and steady development is that growing numbers of water professionals have demonstrated an interest in the training and education offered by UNESCO-IHE. In 2009, the number of applications for short courses doubled and those for the MSc programme rose by over 15% as compared with 2008. The bottleneck in the actual growth of the number of students is the limited availability of fellowships. With 60% of the MSc fellowships coming from the Netherlands Fellowship Programme (NFP), there is an evident need to mobilise support from other UNESCO Member States. This challenge was taken up in 2009 and will require continued efforts in the coming years. The launch of an IWA/UNESCO-IHE Fellowship Fund at the IWA first Development Congress on Water and Sanitation Services in 2009 was one of the concrete measures taken to address this challenge. The fund is meant to pay for the studies of high potential employees involved in water supply and sanitation who are nominated by their employers. UNESCO-IHE organised and hosted several international events in 2009. The UNESCO Water Education regional workshop for North American and Europe took place in February. Participants took stock of best practices and developed recommendations for more efficient water education at all levels. In September, the UN community of librarians was invited for the United Nations Inter-Agency Annual Meeting on Knowledge Sharing and Information Management. This event catalysed the development of knowledge management networks and stimulated innovative approaches to knowledge dissemination. In October 2009, the SWITCH Global CityWater Futures Summit on sustainable water management in the city of the future was organised at UNESCO-IHE. The event brought together water managers, urban planners, regulators, NGOs, donor agencies, as well as policy makers from cities around the world to share ideas and experiences on urban water management with a global network of scientists. The 3rd International Congress on Biotechniques for Air Pollution was hosted at the Institute at the end of September 2009. 24 The Institute played an active role in the 5th World Water Forum in Istanbul, held in March. At the Forum, UNESCO-IHE coordinated the topic on Education, Knowledge and Capacity Development, and - together with the Women for Water Partnership and IRC - convened a session on Strengthening the Capacities of Local Organisations and People. Other sessions co-convened by UNESCO-IHE addressed the impact of food market measures on rural development, design criteria for extreme events in the context of climate change, and problem-solving research in the WASH sector. The forum also saw the launch of the third World Water Development Report, for which UNESCO-IHE contributed the paragraphs on Knowledge & Capacity Development. Some of the other main international forums in which the Institute actively contributed in 2009 included the Singapore International Water Week held in June, and the Stockholm World Water Week held in August. A novelty in UNESCO-IHEâs communications was the Instituteâs presence in social media. These communication channels were used to promote events such as the SWITCH Global CityWater Futures Summit and to generate debate on the various topics addressed at the conference. Social media were also effectively used to intensify the interactions with alumni and new and existing participants. Several platforms emerged on which alumni share experiences and maintain both social and professional dialogues. Other targeted actions to strengthen the ties with alumni were the publication of quarterly alumni e-newsletters, the introduction of merchandising articles, the redefinition of alumni discounts, and the development of a farewell package for students who completed their studies.
It In the Netherlands, UNESCO-IHE participated in the Dutch Delta Design 2012 initiative. The Institute advocated the need for first-class water education in the Netherlands and submitted a proposal to stimulate further cooperation between alumni and the Dutch water sector. In Delft, the Institute intensively worked together with the municipality, the water board, Delft University of Technology, Deltares and TNO on setting up pilot research projects for innovative solutions to local water problems under the âDelft Blue Technologyâ inititative. The same parties also joined forces in a feasibility study for the establishment of a Water Centre in Delft. In 2009, a start was made with the restructuring of the IT group. A multi-year plan was made to lay the foundation for technical and organisational developments, and a new staffing plan was developed. Tasks were redefined and a training plan for all IT staff was made. The Institute chose the Moodle open source platform as its virtual learning environment on which all future educational activities will operate. The technical requirements for implementing Moodle were completed and a pilot was run successfully, leading to the deployment of the first Moodle modules. In 2008, a pilot was held with the provision of laptop computers for 40 MSc participants. As a result of the evaluation of this pilot, all new MSc participants were provided with laptops to stimulate and facilitate new ways of learning. faCIlIty maNagEmENt The plan for the refurbishment of all the Instituteâs facilities was finalised in March. Construction work started halfway through the year, and included installations, the exterior and interior of the building, and offices and study spaces. The renovation of the Oude Delft 91 building was completed in December. The total process is expected to be completed at the end of 2011. The objective of the refurbishment is to allow staff and PhD fellows from the same academic departments to be housed together. Flexible workspaces are included in the plans for the academic departments, allowing guest lecturers, researchers and other temporary academic staff to be accommodated. In the Westvest building - the building where educational activities such as lectures, classes and lab work take place - designated areas for problem-based learning, group work and individual work are envisaged, as well as modernised classrooms. 25