What is unique about the Water Diplomacy Workshop?

  1. Participants learn how to train others.  The Workshop’s instructors are problem-solving practitioners with many decades of teaching, research, training, and field-based experience. We will show you how to present what you learn at the Workshop to groups, communities, and organizations back home. Spreading this actionable knowledge and helping as many people as possible, rather than reserving what we know only for those who can come to a one week workshop, is essential to addressing the world’s water problems.
  2. Participants become part of a global network. We aim to link reflective water professionals around the world. Attendees can use our private online forum to help each other implement what they’ve learned about water diplomacy.
  3. Our focus is on managing the science, policy, and politics of water networks through negotiations. Addressing water conflicts means managing complex networks. Focusing on just infrastructure investment, or just science or just public perceptions won’t work. Water networks are open-ended, and constantly changing. If water disputes are not properly framed, and don’t take account of the natural, societal, and political dynamics involved, it will be impossible to generate solutions that are implementable and enforceable. To that end, the Workshop emphasizes negotiation as a critical diplomatic skill.
  4. We are building on an extensive research record and real world experience. We teach a purposefully organized problem-solving approach backed by decades of theory-building and research in water science and negotiation. Professor Lawrence Susskind is one of the co-founders of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, arguably the foremost center for the study of negotiation theory and practice in the world. Professor Shafik Islam is the director the Water Diplomacy Program at Tufts University. No other professional training program in water diplomacy builds on this level of research in both negotiation and water science.

Using the Water Diplomacy Framework to Characterize and Address Water Problems

The Water Diplomacy Framework (WDF) addresses water problems differently from a conventional conflict resolution approach typically used in resource management. This Framework acknowledges how water problems cross multiple domain and scale boundaries and that approaches that include examining how blue and green water, technology sharing, and re-use opportunities can create more flexible arrangements when there are competing demands for water. The Water Diplomacy Workshop uses this Framework to teach participants how to characterize water problems and how to design and use tools for solving and managing water problems.

The Water Diplomacy Framework


Selected Topics from the Water Diplomacy Workshop

  • Characterizing Water Problems
  • Characterizing and Managing Water as a Flexible Resource
  • Challenging the Conventional Water Management Paradigm
  • Key Principles of International Water Law
  • Preparing a Stakeholder Assessment
  • Collaborative Adaptive Management
  • Designing and Implementing Joint Fact Finding
  • Creating Value in Water Negotiations
  • Mediating Water Disputes
  • Teaching Water Diplomacy

Who Teaches the Course?