WORKING GROUP ON TECHNOLOGY AND RESEARCH UPTAKE AND EXCHANGE (WG-TRUE)
(Established : 2007)

ACTIVITIES

  • Gathering the knowledge is not enough and one must make use of the practical knowledge to alleviate the problems associated with world irrigation.
  • New concerns may include the benefits and use of groundwater, keeping in mind the energy requirements and the current interest in defining activities in terms of their
  • Carbon Budget" implications.
  • Document technology, particularly IPTRID needs to be kept informed of activities in irrigation research and practice, from inventions to management innovations.

PRESENTATION

The Great East Japan Earthquake


Tenure of the working group
The tenure of this Working Group “Technology Research Uptake and Exchange” has now reached its last term.

Report of the Sub-committee constituted by WG-TRUE
A sub-committee as suggested by the WG in 2011 did not materialize further during the year. Thus, the WG picked up the discussion from Tehran that endorsed the importance of R&D as an important part of the work of ICID, but with a view to explore a realistic mandate in relation to the global ICID programme ‘Research and Technology Transfer’ (RTTP), that had grown from the document ‘Intensification of Irrigation and Drainage Research to Achieve Global Food Security’ in Yogyakarta.

To guide these discussions, Mr. Tyagi summarized points from the draft document ‘Research and Technology Transfer in Irrigation and Drainage programme’ (RTTP) which had been circulated to WG members. This document summarized the objectives of the programme, and the distribution of responsibilities/TORs between a Board of Governors/Secretariat/ Regional Nodes and national committees. President Gao Zhanyi also added to this discussion.

The following feedback was given regarding the RTTP draft proposal:

Objectives and Name -

  • This is currently a very ambitious programme, but also with some challenges. It discussed the critical reviews of the IPTRID program, but nevertheless decided to develop a programme focused on capacity development and knowledge transfer focused in a series of regional nodes that will also have a thematic focus. Past WGs have expressed concern that the major mandates of technology research, capacity building and knowledge dissemination should not be pushed together in one structure. Also the focus on capacity building and knowledge dissemination in the RTTP means that the clear focus on technology research is actually diluted. Rather technology issues become undifferentiated in a larger thematic focus. However, the energy and commitment behind this programme is clear, so we support it but with the following critical suggestions to help its development:

  • The programme gives a strong focus first to 2-4 nodes only (and thus only selected themes), to see how these evolve. With these ICID should be able evolve a set of working principles to help establish realistic working practices between a Board of Governor (BoG), Secretariat (St) and nodes, and a good design for a management framework

  • Alongside these nodal programmes, ICID and the RTTP programme should continue to recognise that a diversity of modes for Technology-R&D exist, and continue to exist. Thus, the nodal format for capacity building and knowledge dissemination is not the only one to be promoted. ICID continues to encourage exchange of information on changing processes of R&D and how to assess and manage this. The objectives can be amended to state this.

  • It may be useful to bring a more specific focus on what technologies and technology issues are addressed in thematic questions and nodes (if any). At the same time, it can be recognised that no one node should claim to be the main or only centre working on certain technologies. Rather such expertise will be locally specific

  • The recognition of boundary work and collaboration with other international organisations working on irrigation and drainage (FAO, CGIAR, INGOS etc.) can be restated. This is important as organisations like FAO also now think to work with nodal centres and centres of excellence for certain water management issues.

  • ICID is a knowledge agency, not an implementing agency. Care is needed on how it is expanding into an advisory body, with expectations arising that it is also a funding-raising agency. The objective concerning enhancement of financial resources available may need to be modified. Exchange of detailed technical knowledge and matters is a topic for ICID and its workgroups. Actual implementation of uptake is a matter for government and local bodies. However, there is a need to have more advice on benchmarking for studying technology uptake that helps to show that uptake is wanted in time and how to achieve this and monitor it.

  • The zero draft of the RTTP document uses the term ‘technology transfer’ for the programme, which some feel has associations linked with both ‘top-down’ uni-directional actions towards farmers, and lack of reference to social context. These associations, and use of the term, go against past work of the WG-TRUE and WG-R&D. There is a need to understand how technology reaches and affects farmers, and recognise that technology is not always neutral. So we recommend a different title – could‘ Knowledge transitions in irrigation and drainage management’ or ‘Technology research processes in irrigation and drainage’ be a better title? The objectives of the programme can state explicit recognition of efforts to address diverse scales of farmer and development contexts in these transition processes, and an ethics statement.

The structure of a Board of Governors/Secretariat and their TORs

This is also an ambitious structure, and in its current form risks having high demands on personnel, funding, general management and specialised administrative support (like auditing). Also the actual governance relations between the BoG and nodal centres is not really clear – is this really a nested hierarchy, or is it more a consortium of nodal centres to which a BoG gives general guidelines? The TORs revolve mainly around supporting and servicing the nodes, also envisaging a secretariat that provides many monitoring and evaluation requirements. Yet again there is limited manpower or funding for this, and expectations of inputs from NCs seem unrealistic for some regions. We suggest the following:

  • There is careful design of standardized performance and monitoring tools and criteria, with a view to such monitoring work being done within the nodal centres, if necessary by an ICID link person. Information should come from the nodes to ICID. We suggest minimal development of any additional secretariat at this time.

  • The paper talks of establishing the programme along with a ‘system-level science strategy’. This is an ambitious statement that is rather beyond the mandate of ICID itself. Is ‘awareness strategy’ more appropriate?

  • A clear statement and set of procedures is needed around the financial procedures arising with development of this programme, especially concerning the sending and receiving of funds. Regional transfer of funds is sometimes difficult, with different countries also having different accounting regulations. Clear responsibilities will also be needed for auditing any financial aspects of this programme.

  • The BoG is seen as coming primarily from WG-Chairs. We think this is too demanding on people, and also sets up pressures for regional nodes to develop to cover many different topics (IPTRID also began to suffer from these problems). Better a smaller range of topics and nodal centres to start with.

  • There seems an assumption of powers of approval and sanction by the BoG on the work of the nodal centres. Yet the senodes will undoubtedly acquire diverse national and international funds and inevitably develop many links, and also their own governance structures. Thus, the BoG needs a responsible but also realistic structure of responsibility in what it can approve or veto. Is it more relevant to think of a consortia model rather than nested agency model? We think the role of the BoG may lie in approval of a core of programmes across at nodal centres, rather than expecting to have responsibilities in all programmes of nodal centres. ICID can also make more clear what status of ICID members will be acceptable to do this work in the BoG. Also clarify what will be the actual ICID position in governing arrangements of a nodal centre, if at all.

  • Thus, we suggest the BoG is made up from some/all Vice-Presidents (as people with an elected mandate), perhaps 1-2 WG Chairpersons and the Chair of PCTA, but also to allow for special co-opted ICID members to be on the Board who have real experience in running capacity building and knowledge dissemination, and who write/contribute actively on knowledge, capacity and R&D issues (thus having peer-review standing also).

All these suggestions are best handled by the IEC, perhaps also through a small sub-committee to hammer out revision on the mandate, procedures and starting tasks for the new programme

A new sub-committee or working group on ‘technology research processes in irrigation and drainage’

The focus in the nodal centres around knowledge and capacity building leaves a role for a sub-committee or working group to continue a focus on the diversity of processes of technology development that is also not involved in the running of any bigger programme. Rather representatives from the nodal centres could be members in such a new sub-committee or working group.

Our suggestion is to try again to initiate a temporary sub-committee to advice on a new name and mandate. This can be made up from the Vice-Presidents taking responsibilities for the themes of - Systems, Basin, On-farm and Knowledge together with active past WG-TRUE members (including Adelaide, Tehran, Yogyakarta or nominated replacements). Vice-President Gerhard Backeberg could initiate this interim sub-committee, given his past associations and inputs into the WG-TRUE and WG-R&D, experience and interest expressed to help this in the last year. The findings and any proposal can be discussed in the IEC meetings of 2013 as part of a special WG session, with a title to be confirmed.

MANDATE OF WORKING GROUP

To support research and development of technology and innovation processes for improved irrigation and drainage

MEMBERSHIP

Members: (1) Prof. L. Vincent, Chairperson, 2007 (The Netherlands, 1995); (2) Dr. (Mrs.) Shaden Abdel-Gawad, Vice Chairperson, 2007 (Egypt, 2001); (3) VPH Prof. L. Ubertini (Italy, 1989); (4) Mr. A. Delacourt (France, 1995); (5) Mr. J. Lelkes (Hungary, 1998); (6).Mr. Sietan Chieng (Canada, 2001); (7) Dr. (Mrs.) Irene Bondarik (Russia, 2001);     (8) Prof. Jiesheng Huang (China, 2003); (9) Prof. J.G. Annandale (South Africa, 2003); (10) Prof. Yuanhua Li (China, 2003); (11) Mr. Geoff Pearce (UK, 2003); (12) Mr. Ezzatollah Farhadi (Iran, 2005); (13) Dr. K. Palanisami (India, 2005); (14) Mr. Stephen Mills (Australia, 2005); (15) Mr. Ian William Makin (UK, 2006); (16) Dr. Enrique Playan (Spain, 2006); (17) Dr. Kazumi Yamaoka (Japan, 2009); (18) Mr. Indra Raj (India, 2009); (19) Dr. Moch. Basuki Hadimuljono (Indonesia, 2010); (20) Dr. Chan Chee Sheng (Malaysia, 2011); (21) Mexican representative (MXCID); (22) Nigerian representative (NINCID); and (23) Secretary General, ICID     
         
Permanent Observers: (i) IPTRID Representative; (ii) FAO Representative; (iii) World Bank Representative; (iv) IWMI Representative; (v) PH Peter Lee, CG-IPTRID, UK; (vi) Mr. Campoare Moussa Laurent, (ARID-Burkina Faso); (vii) VPH Dr. Hussein El-Atfy (Egypt); and (viii) Dr. H. Fahmy (Egypt)

AGENDA : 63rd International Executive Council Meeting, Adelaide, Australia [Previous Agendas]

MINUTES - 63rd International Executive Council Meeting, Adelaide, Australia [Previous Minutes]

Proceedings of Loskop Dam Workshop on "Integrated Water Management in Water-Stressed River Basins in Developing Countries : Strategies for Poverty Alleviation and Agricultural Growth"

 

LINKS
International Programme for Technology and Research in Irrigation and Drainage
American Water Association
American Society of Civil Engineers
American Society of Agricultural Engineers

 

ABOUT ICID
The International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) was established on 24 June, 1950 as a Scientific, Technical and Voluntary Not-for-profit Non-Governmental International Organization (NGO) with headquarters in New Delhi, India.

The Commission is dedicated to enhancing the worldwide supply of food and fibre for all people by improving water and land management and the productivity of irrigated and drained lands through appropriate management of water, environment and application of irrigation, drainage and flood management techniques. [For more information contact http://www.icid.org]