Center for River Basin Organizations and Management


1st NARBO Executive Retreat on Leadership in River Basins

Santika Hotel, Malang, 20-21 June 2011

The event was organized by NARBO and its secretariat, and was co-organized and hosted by PJT1. It assembled 32 participants, including RBO leaders, other IWRM executives, special guests, moderators, resource persons and organizers, with representatives from Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Sri Lanka and Thailand, as well as ADB, ADB Institute, Asia-Pacific Water Forum, CRBOM, Japan Water Agency and NARBO.

At the start of the programme, a partnership MoU was signed between CRBOM, PJT1 and Puslitbang SDA (Research Institute for Water Resources).

The event was opened by HE Djoko Kirmanto, Minister of Public Works, Indonesia, who shared his views on the importance and implications of good basin-level governance and leadership.

Wouter Lincklaen Arriƫns made a distinction between management and leadership, and introduced three aspects of IWRM leadership: (1) between organizations; (2) within the organization; and (3) personal leadership. Ravi Narayanan explained about leadership attributes: Anticipation (vision and planning); orientation; reconciliation (internal and external); and reaction (to new needs and opportunities).

The dialogue was supported by short presentations about leadership challenges and achievements in specific river basins: Chikugo and Kizu (Japan) (including response to the recent Great East Japan Earthquake); Mahaweli (Sri Lanka); Citarum (West Java); Brantas (East Java); and Ping (Thailand). Also, the participants learned about water resources management leadership in Bangladesh, Indonesia and Karnataka (India).

During panel and plenary discussions, observations and opinions were offered, and views exchanged, about inter-agency relations; corporate culture; collaboration with civil society; the role of the academic community; newsmedia relations; and response to calamities. Many speakers used the 'spiral model' (from the UNESCO-NARBO Guidelines) to illustrate the evolving significance of basin-level IWRM, as supported by good leadership.

The participants agreed on the importance of good leadership and the value of dialogue and networking. A need was seen of better documentation of related to good leadership. Continued support from NARBO was encouraged, both at the regional level and via (existing and new) national NARBO chapters.


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