Competitive Grant 10:

Support of Young Water Professionals in Kosovo

Kosovo - Water and Wastewater Works Association of Kosovo (SHUKOS)

 

Description of the activity

IAWD supported SHUKOS, the Water and Wastewater Works Association of Kosovo, in developing young talent in the water supply and sanitation sector. SHUKOS recently started a national branch of IWA’s Young Water Professionals network. This competitive grant project aimed at strengthening the network. Activities started in February 2014 and were finished in September 2015.

Implementation of the activity

In line with the International Water Association’s drive to empower young professionals in the fields of water supply and sanitation all over the globe, SHUKOS started a Kosovo branch of the YWP program. The association collaborated with the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture at the University of Pristina to create this platform, where young professionals could exchange ideas, express their views and network with national and international peers and senior professionals. The aim of this program is to establish the water sector as an attractive field of work, as well as to provide career opportunities for the next generation of water sector personnel. Individuals under 35 who pursue studies in the sector and those who recently entered the professional world potentially qualify as members of the group.

Shortly after creating the network, SHUKOS signed a memorandum of understanding with the Albanian YWPs in order to establish close cooperation between the two groups. YWPs from Albania and from Kosovo have since then held joint meetings, attended conferences together, and visited infrastructure in Durres and Tirana. Another field of intensive collaboration is the 3rd Balkans Joint Conference, to be held in Pristina on 4-6 November 2015.

In early June 2015, a group of 17 YWPs plus Nadire Vitija of SHUKOS went on a study trip to Vienna, where they engaged in a variety of activities. The group visited Vienna’s wastewater treatment plant, got an insightful tour of a brand-new set of wells and water treatment facilities on the Danube Island, met the Ambassador of Kosovo to Austria, and networked extensively with Austria’s YWPs at a workshop held in the World Bank offices. At this workshop, two professors of water supply and wastewater treatment of the Vienna University of Technology and of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna presented the work done at their institutes. Ellen Goldstein, the World Bank Country Director for the Western Balkans, introduced the group to the Bank’s efforts in Kosovo and the region. And last but not least, three of Austria’s most committed YWPs introduced their counterparts from Kosovo to the structure and functioning of the group.

Challenges and lessons learned

Establishing a YWP network, connecting it with similar groups in other countries and ensuring its sustainability through a self-sustaining funding scheme is a comprehensive task that needs continuous and thorough commitment. The large number of applications received by the YWP Kosovo group should be understood as a reassuring proof that these efforts are worthwhile, necessary and well received.

 

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Related Events

YWP Kosovo Study Trip
    31 May - 3 June 2015, Vienna,
    Austria