OPTIMA: Optimisation   for Sustainable
Water Resources Management

Dissemination Strategies

OPTIMA dedicates a separate work package (WP 16) to dissemination activities.
The main objectives are the involvement of all relevant actors and stakeholders, but in particular all administrative bodies of local and regional government and the developing water industry as well as a wide dissemination of results at a regional and international level through the Internet: will be a central component. A special regional dissemination workshop with invited participants beyond the project team is planned toward the end of the project.

OPTIMA foresees a number of training activities for the methodological components (all to be applied in the individual case studies) as well for the socio-economic assessment and local actors involvement.

In addition to the project board and technical meetings, several bi- and multi-lateral meeting on specific topics and tools are foreseen as dedicated training sessions which may last for a few days to longer visits for cooperative work and on-the-job training lasting several weeks.

Raising public participation and awareness

OPTIMA foresees public participation through local stake holder and problem owners; these will include both government and Non-governmental institutions.

WP 01: Requirements and constraints analysis includes the identification of these institutions and individuals, and foresees, inter alia to identify the major institutional structures, actors and stakeholders in water related decision making processes. The main objective of this work package is to ensure that in each case study, relevant water issues as defined by the end users are addressed, that all major institutions and actors are identified, that the data requirements of the proposed tools and the local data availability do match, and that the methods are adapted where necessary subject to local constraints.

WP 02: Socio-economic framework: objectives, criteria, indicators, will also be perfrormed in close cooperation with local groups. The participatory nature of the proposed optimisation approach depends considerably on socio-political and institutional structures; while participation is generally regarded as a desirable aspect of policy and decision making processes in open, democratic societies, its practical implementation requires mature structures and experienced participants. This task is designed to observe and analyse the actual process with formal but simple, easy to use instruments such as checklists and questionnaires in the individual case studies with an attempt to learn general lessons from a comparative analysis

The final step in this approach is then to communicate the resulting strategies and their implications to the largest possible group of key actors. Their response and reactions will trigger the next cycle in the policy and decision making process. In parallel, the solutions and their components will be made part of a public information and education campaign, utilising the Internet as well as traditional meetings and workshops as complementary dissemination media.

A successful participatory decision making process requires the appropriate institutional and public interfaces, but also a shared information basis, i.e., empowerment through information. Here the role of the Internet as a central medium and tool for effective networking will be explored and exploited.

While the individual case studies will keep end users and the public informed and involved, and for each of the studies, a local network of institutions as defined in WP 01 and WP02 will be used.

WP 16: Dissemination and exploitation is then dedicated to a wider, regional dissemination: tasks include the organization of end user networks within and across the case studies; Organize local dissemination workshops in every case study region; Organize a regional workshop with invited participants (major sectoral actors) across the region from outside the consortium; Implement and maintain a project web server early in the project for global dissemination and in support of the local/regional dissemination strategies in each case study; including an interactive Discussion Forum, mailing lists and newsletter, and interactive features like user and interest group registration Foster long-term networks of collaboration with interested parties across case studies; Develop strategies to implement and institutionalize the methods developed in each case study region for continuing use.

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