Darryl Day interview – Australia’s sustainable development investment portfolio and Nepalese-Australian partnerships to share knowledge and experience

An interview with Darryl Day, managing director for the International Centre of Excellence in Water Resources Management (ICE WaRM). The interview covers the developing of international partnerships, specifically between Australia and Nepal, as well as gender inclusion in the development of water policies.

Interview topics

  • About the International Centre for Excellence in Water Resources Management (ICE WaRM)
  • Sharing ‘tacit’ knowledge through face-to-face conversations
  • ICE WaRM’s peer-to-peer partnership development process with Nepal
  • Constitutional change as a driver for water reform in Nepal
  • Achieving alignment between the values of Australian and Nepalese partners
  • Nepal’s unique geographic and political context
  • The importance of local capacity in gathering scientific knowledge
  • Using a joint advisory committee to get buy-in from diverse knowledge holders
  • Using the SDG’s to introduce new ‘language’ and concepts
  • A mature approach to gender and water in Nepal
  • The importance of sharing knowledge across projects
  • Attitudes that people need to bring to development work

Darryl joined ICE WaRM as managing director in September 2016. He has over 35 years of experience in the water and energy sectors. ICE WaRM was founded 12 years ago and is active in the Asia-Pacific, with a particular focus in Nepal. It was set up as an Australian Government Initiative to develop five centres of excellence in different research fields. ICE WaRM looks to identify lost expertise in academia and the public sector after experts retire. Darryl stresses on the fact that in both the developing and developed world, there is abundant technical knowledge but the knowledge of policy experts and academics is much harder to access.

The Sustainable Development Investment Portfolio program

In the interview, Darryl discusses the Australian Government’s Sustainable Development Investment Portfolio program. This link shows how this program has been covered in the local media, bringing it to national attention. Darryl suggests that a key driver for water resources management reform in Nepal is the process of constitutional change in the country. The first regional elections in 20 years will be held in Nepal in mid-May. Through the work of this program, linked to these reforms has seen more communication between different sectors. For example, recently the Energy Department released a water plan for the management and development of water resources in the country.

ICE WaRM and the CSIRO have been actively involved in sharing lessons from Australia’s journey with Nepal develop its National Water Resources Policy.

Darryl believes that the policy could be one of the most mature policies we will see because the decision-makers have seen how things work across the world and are recognizing the need for community and stakeholder engagement. He suggests that this makes Nepal an attractive place to partner with considering the considerable underdevelopment and infrastructure challenges that exist in the country.

During the interview, Darryl refers to transboundary issues related to the selling of electricity generated in Nepal to India in line with an electricity trading pact signed by the two countries in 2014. Darryl outlines that the support being provided by aid agencies for basin planning assists dialogue between developing countries with specialist science and policy expertise.

Interview Quotes

 

This interview and related content was originally part of the Kini Interview Series. Kini is a retired brand of the AWP and IWCAN.

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