DAAD virtual Alumni Expert Seminar "Access to Water – Watershed Management Planning"

Virtual Alumni Seminar "Access to Water – Watershed Management Planning"

October to December 2020
Venue: virtual

On behalf of the Alumni Program, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Centre for International Capacity Development at University of Siegen is organizing the International DAAD Alumni Expert Seminar “Access to Water – Watershed Management Planning” in West Usambara Mountains, Tanzania in form of a virtual seminar from October to December 2020.

Universität Siegen organized this applied virtual seminar in cooperation with the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM); Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences - Urban water management; Weltweit - Gesellschaft zur Förderung lokaler Initiativen e.V.; MamboSteunpunt Foundation; and 2811 social enterprise. Guests were stakeholders such as water user associations, village and district authorities from Lushoto District.


This applied research seminar was the second out of a series of two. In September 2019, the first one has been implemented in West Usambara Mountains, Tanzania. Results may be seen on the GAWN website.

It was planned that the second seminar will again be conducted in the project area to monitor and evaluate the process of implementation of key activities that had been formulated in an action plan handed over to the key stakeholders in the region at the end of the 2019 seminar.
Due to the travel restrictions and related regulations caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, a plan has been developed for continuation in a virtual format.


The overall goal of the project was to strengthen the capacity of Germany alumni in their role engaging themselves in the management and protection of natural resources and to maintain contacts to German universities.

Due to the current crisis, a lot of new ways of communication and cooperation are being currently developed. Participating alumni got the chance to learn and use different new technologies and methodologies. For the exchange of the virtually participating alumni with the local actors from the Usambara region, a mixture of online and face-to-face seminars was chosen. Before starting the face to face sessions, alumni were trained in several online technologies to get prepared to communicate in the meeting and, most important, to held online seminars in future on their own.

The group of local actors was invited to three face-to-face seminars at Mambo Viewpoint Lodge, which were moderated in cooperation with Tanzanian alumni. Other participants were connected virtually. In this mix, it was possible to examine the plans of the local water boards together and to push them further. On the one hand, it was possible to work professionally, and on the other hand, the entire group received intensive and practical training in online tools from the specially selected partner "2811".

The form of direct documentation through jointly created pdf's, video recordings during the seminar and the creation of short documentary films and interviews opens up a new field of activity for practice-oriented seminars. Participatory tools get a new value through direct documentation.

See some impressions at the you tube channel of Mambo View Point Eco Lodge

impressions        interview 1              interview 2

The GAWN network has conducted one of the first international hybrid seminars in Africa and gained valuable experience for the network.
It was a good time to conduct the first virtual seminar as most of the participants already knew each other from the first seminar.