Training water management, capacity building and implementation of a Decision Support System for Oman

Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources
Wageningen Environmental Research & German University of Technology in Oman
Muscat, Oman

The mission of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources (MAFWR hereinafter) is to achieve a continuous development and progress in agriculture, fisheries and water resources. This mission ensures a healthy environment, balanced construction development and active participation in enhancing infrastructure and public services. This, in accordance with the set standards of quality and adequacy through better institutional and regulative capabilities, expansion in the application of modern technologies, encouragement of creative initiatives and positive activation of the partnership of the public and private sector in the development on the local level. A decision support system is a valuable tool to put these mission statements into practice.

The challenge

The overall objective of this project is to train a selected number of staff members of MAFWR in using and managing various water related databases and to train them in the effective application of data and as well in presenting this to other stakeholders. The final aim is to create the capacities among the MAFWR to design and develop a future decision support system (DSS) for the water sector in the country.

According to the MAFWR, this capacity building project will provide the knowledge:

  1. To understand the data available in order to implement better practices for managing the scarce water resources, including both quantity and quality issues.
  2. To structure their data and future develop a DSS to manage smartly their water resources (covering all levels).
  3. Training and capacity building of employees from MAFWR who will form part of a future Decision Support System team; This team consists of people with a variety of backgrounds, knowledge and roles within the MAFWR.

Our solution

The objective of this project is to achieve reliable water data management in Oman through training and the implementation of a decision support system. In close cooperation with the Omani government and other stakeholders, the project will select and train the most appropriate Ministry staff to be able to collect, process, interpret and present data that are crucial for making informed decisions about effective and efficient use of the scarce water resources of Oman.

A tailor-made capacity building program is developed for the fifteen professionals from the Omani MAFWR. This staff will be part of the so-called “decision support system team”, which is a specialised unit within the MRMWR that is required to advise decision-makers about the available water related data in order for them to make informed decisions. At the end of the project, the participants will be able to:

  1. Identify, collect, interpret, process and summarise water related data from Oman and report to a broader audience, including water experts, decision makers, specific water users or the general public;
  2. Interpret and explain how specific data, as well as the combination of diverse datasets, underpin enhanced strategy development, action planning and policy formulation;
  3. Effectively communicate, visualise and present evidence and insights that are data induced;
  4. Better understand how effective communication (supported by enhanced digital transformation) supports the facilitation of multi-stakeholder processes, partnerships and/or platforms necessary for integrated water resources management and water governance;

The training material will include WCDI’s MSP Guide (English, French and Spanish versions available) and the online resource portal ( to underpin the approach on stakeholder collaboration, and the suite of methods and tools. Especially because it provides ample examples on how to enhance team performance.

The MSP guide is widely seen as a ‘state of the art’ overview for multi-stakeholder partnerships and extensively used by governmental, non-governmental and research partners. The MSP Guide is part of the official curriculum for academic courses in at least seven universities (WUR, Van Hall Larenstein, Aeres, Radboud University Nijmegen, Uppsala University Sweden, University of South Florida, Denver University).

The outcome

The training program is designed following our vision on communication, training and capacity development and on the role and use of data management for the water sector. As a starting point the best – and motivated – candidates are selected in collaboration with the MAFWR. The tailor-made program is developed based on five components. Below the different components of the training program are described in chronical order.

  1. Inception mission
  2. Training week 1: Data management
  3. Training week 2: Study visit to The Netherlands
  4. Training week 3: Teamwork & Communication
  5. Follow-up & after care

During the training program of 1.5 year, there is regularly close contact with the trainees. In between the training weeks, update meetings are organised via video conferencing. At least once a month a meeting is held to create an open atmosphere in which trainees feel free to ask questions, provide extra support on the training and most import; how to apply the acquainted knowledge in their daily work.

All cases

Please feel free to contact us for more information on capacity building.

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