Oregon State University

College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences

Water Cooperation and Diplomacy Joint Education Programme

students step carefully across stream

Water management is conflict management. Regardless of the scale, ensuring that the needs of the people and ecosystems that rely on this critical resource are met effectively requires comprehensive understanding of both water science and water diplomacy, including dispute mitigation, management, and resolution. To address these needs, the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education in the Netherlands, the University for Peace (UPEACE) in Costa Rica, and Oregon State University (OSU) in the USA, have embarked on a joint education programme in Water Coooperation and Diplomacy. The goal of this new initiative is to broaden the scope of approach to conflict and peace, provide a more theoretical dimension to conflict, engage multi-level scales of conflict dimensions and strengthen skills through highly experiential learning opportunities.

With a launch slated for summer 2015, the programme will provide tools and training in an international setting, with a unique opportunity to undertake coursework and hands-on experiences in Costa Rica, The Netherlands and the United States. Participants will be exposed to case studies involving diverse challenges and contexts at different scales.

Key strengths of the programme include the following:

  • Exposure to theory followed by practical exposure to contemporary issues through field work at different scales
  • Strong theoretical foundation in peace and conflict studies
  • Particular emphasis on conflict from different points of view
  • Foundation in how to understand the nexus of environment and development: how to integrate water-related issues in a broader environment and development framework
  • Focus on practical skills-training for actual dispute resolution processes
  • Collaborative and interdisciplinary project work
  • Field experience in both the Global South and Global North contexts
  • Extended networking opportunities from different but complementary fields (water-oriented experts, and peace and conflict experts)

As part of the collaborative project at OSU, all students will jointly develop an “applied thesis” centered on a common geographic location. Then students will extend the group work into individual theses. Each student will develop her/his thesis with advisors from any of the three participating universities. Students will be awarded an MA and an MSc in Water Cooperation and Diplomacy.

Core Common Elements