Floating in Water

Johan Visser has already made a post about the same event, but I’d also like to share some reflections concerning 2016 World Water Week (WWW) that took place in Stockholm last week. The participation in the event appeared to be a very interesting and remarkable experience for me from different perspectives.

First, being a Master’s student in Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change Adaptation at Lund University, was intrigued what would be on the agenda of the event this year. Dealing with water-related natural hazards, like floods or droughts, I attended sessions mostly devoted to disaster risk reduction. Surprisingly, while listening to different practitioners or researchers, I had a feeling that I am attending my first year’s classes at Lund – Capacity Development, Risk Assessment, Urban and Rural Systems and Sustainability, and Societal Resilience. I was astonished how perfectly my classmates and I had been prepared by professors for any kind of discussions held during WWW. Education gained at Swedish Universities is on a high level and allows to speak the same language with professionals and establish mutually beneficial contacts.

Secondly, I was curious to participate in the conference in order to enrich my current internship at United Nations Development Programme Regional Hub in Istanbul with more cases related to disaster risk reduction from Europe and Central Asia and other continents. Unfortunately, I have to admit that the countries I am interested in now was not in the focus either organizers of the event or global agenda of water-related issues. In my opinion, about 70% of sessions and workshops revealed practices in African. A lot was also said about countries in the Asia region – India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, etc., a few cases depicted the situation in the South America, and almost nothing was addressed in terms of Central Asia, South Caucasus, the Balkan countries… I can assume that this all is about general humanitarian aid trends and investments of businesses. Therefore, I believe it would be easier to find a good job related to the African continent rather than Central Asia. At the same time, such countries as Tajikistan also faces many natural hazards annually, and some of them have even cascade effect.

Thirdly, I tried to participate in workshops that could be somehow relevant to my master thesis, or let’s say the area of future research. Therefore, I attended sessions devoted to mediating gender issues and social media. Having spent some time on the problem of disaster risk reduction and preparedness, as well as public awareness about potential risks, I have now a feeling that I am on a right track and I should proceed doing further research and conducting interviews.

Finally, it was a great a fun to meet new friends and mingle with the old ones. I was more than happy to be back to cozy Sweden and have a kind of week-off from my internship. It was not just networking, what is also very important of course; this trip was mostly about trying new paths for my successful future as a professional. It’s true, water is life, and during World Water Week I caught my second wind.

  •  Tatiana
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