NARBO held the International Workshop on NARBO Performance Benchmarking, aimed at acquiring skills to evaluate performance of River Basin Organizations (RBOs) in Bangkok, Thailand from June 26th through 28th in collaboration with Department of Water Resources (DWR), Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Thailand.
This workshop program offered an opportunity to recognize the current situation of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) in each river basin together with its progress from the past, and find hints to further progress in the future through lectures, exercises of performance evaluation and a field visit.
Day 1 (26 June)
On the first day, Mr. Bhadol Thavornkitcharat, Deputy Director of Department of Water Resources, and Dr. Apichart Anukularmphai, Senior Advisor to NARBO, kindly delivered opening remarks at the opening program.
Following the opening program, Dr. Aida Karazhanova of United Nations ESCAP, kindly gave a keynote lecture regarding sustainable approach to urban water management and water accounting to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
In the lecture session, NARBO Secretariat provided an explanation of the outline of performance benchmarking and the IWRM guidelines on appropriate applicable approach. In addition, Mr. Kergkeart Kumarasingha from DWR and Ms. Ivania Aestrianingsih of Indonesia PJT-1 kindly introduced practical examples of their performance benchmarking so that participants can grasp the concrete image of this activity.
Mr. Shinichiro Arima of Ministry of Land, Infrastructure Transport and Tourism, Japan, kindly gave a lecture on water cycle management policy in Japan and introduced various initiatives related to the policy, which are being promoted in Japan.
Mr. Bhadol Thavornkitcharat
Dr. Apichart Anukularmphai
Dr. Aida Karazhanova
Presenters of lectures
Day 2 (27 June)
On the second day, we conducted two exercises, RBO performance benchmarking, a tool to evaluate the performance of RBOs, and SWOT analysis, a support tool to formulate strategic plans to improve performance. The secretariat introduced the outline and the way to use these tools to the participants first and then divided them into four groups to carry out each exercise.
The results of the two exercises were reported by representatives of each group at the final presentation session. All teams seemed to have been able to evaluate well the current performance of their RBOs based on the checklist. Also, with regard to the future strategic plan, it was confirmed that all groups had been able to formulate their strategic plan by taking the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of each RBO extracted by SWOT analysis into consideration.
Situation of Exercises
Day 3 (28 June)
On the third day, the participants visited the site of Nong Jed Sen Reservoir Water Resources Conservation and Rehabilitation Project implemented by DWR Regional Office 2 in Maharat District, Ayutthaya Province. In this project area, the reservoir used for the supply of domestic water and irrigation water was suffered from problems such as deterioration in function and water quality due to sedimentation. Therefore, DWR decided to remove sediment and renovate the reservoir.
The reservoir renovated by this project enabled stable water supply of domestic water and irrigation water to the surrounding area. It also could come to plays a role as a regulating reservoir which reduces the risk of flood in the surrounding area. The feature of this project was that it was a participatory project. In this project, it was necessary to acquire a large extent of land to renovate a reservoir. According to DWR, they conducted negotiation with local residents with persistence using maps created by accurate land survey and could finally get the understanding of the residents. Furthermore, in addition to renovation of reservoirs, new efforts to improve the living standard of the local residents have been being made through construction of a market where local residents can sell their local products and facilities such as Buddhist temple and cycling road to attract visitors from outside.
The participants learnt that the key for success of this project was "Participatory Development". Gaining consensus from local residents through persistent negotiation efforts is necessary to implement the project and maximize its effect.
Juvenile fish release event
We are sure that the participants could deepen their understanding on the methods to evaluate performance of RBOs through the workshop. In addition, we were able to establish new relationships and share information through interaction among participants from NARBO member RBOs during the workshop. We would like to continue to cooperate with the NARBO member organizations and to provide participants with opportunities for more and better training and workshops.
Finally, we deeply grateful to the Department of Water Resources, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in Thailand for their excellent coordination and preparation of the workshop program.
DWR secretariat members