Network History
launch documents
Archived Training
NBCBN that started in the year 2000 as a non-traditional experiment and served as a pilot network for capacity building of water professionals in the Nile Basin has proven to be a unique structure and valuable tool for capacity building over the years. The network was a continuation of the cooperation between the Hydraulics Research Institute of Egypt and the UNESCO-IHE of the Netherlands to build on the success of the regional training center that started in 1996 and to keep the link between water professionals beyond training activities. The success of the network comes from the real impact that it generated on the performance of people working at both national and regional level in the Nile basin. For ten years, NBCBN has showed that creating links between water professionals from the basin and bringing people closer around common research objectives that serves their countries needs are important steps towards better cooperation that stimulated joint problem-solving oriented research leading to outputs that go beyond the original horizons of the individual researchers. At the same time the cooperation has contributed to creating a basis for generating new and innovative solutions to cope with water scarcity problems in the Nile region.

Establishment of the Nile Basin Capacity Building Network (NBCBN): First phase 2000 - 2005
The Nile Basin Capacity Building Network for River Engineering (NBCBN-RE) was initiated in the year 2000 to promote cooperation among the Nile basin countries, to strengthen the capacity of water professionals and to create an environment in which professionals from the water sector sharing the same river basin would have the possibility to exchange ideas, their best practices and lessons learned, through joint applied research on issues of common interest in the field of River Engineering.

In January 2002 the NBCBN-RE was officially launched and defined by high-level professional representatives from all the Nile basin countries, who expressed their mission to “level the playing field “among the member countries and to ensure the free flow, sharing and transferring of information and knowledge. This regional Knowledge Network is fully owned by the Nile basin countries and aims at building the capacity of Water Sector professionals and institutions in the Nile Basin through collaborative research, training and education.

During the NBCBN Seminar in June 2004, marking the end of the project first phase of the network development process, the professional water community in the Nile region emphasized the power of networking and committed itself to further develop the network. In a short period of time the NBCBN-River Engineering network community grew to about 150-200 water professionals and created 13 smaller communities of practice. The professionals involved in the network felt suddenly the power of having much better access to knowledge: not only to explicit knowledge in the form of books and journals in the Centre’s library or to shared documents on the platform, but even more they got access to the implicit (tacit) knowledge of a growing group of regional professionals whom they start to appreciate as colleagues. Moreover the network has stimulated regional collaboration in jointly addressing and solving water related problems. As such the network contributed largely to enhancing greater stability in the region.

Second Phase: Knowledge Networks for Nile Basin – KNNB: 2006 - 2010
In 2005 the Dutch Government decided to continue its financial support to the further development of the NBCBN through a 4 years project called: “Knowledge networks for the Nile Basin”. Main reasons for further support were the impressive results of the 1st phase and the high potential of the network to contribute to the development of sustainable solutions for integrated water management and to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. It was also realized that the NBCBN-RE knowledge network was still too young to continue fully on its own and that additional support was still needed to reach its ultimate capacity. This phase of the project builds on previous achievements and introduces an innovative change in approach, such as:
  • The traditional approach towards training as a means of capacity building is complemented with an approach towards regional Knowledge networks and Communities of Practice. These are considered as the ‘local’ home of a group of professional interested and knowledgeable people to share and learn from each other.
  • The approach is less focused on overseas training and more on action-learning: practicing research and its skills with and within the trusted environment of the community
  • The approach supports knowledge-driven social groups of water related professionals and their drive to improve their knowledge base.
This phase of the project titled “Knowledge Networks for the Nile Basin” was officially CONCLUDED by end of 2010, where the Nile Basin Capacity Building Network (NBCBN) organized a regional conference in Cairo-Egypt. This conference aimed at bringing knowledge providers and knowledge users from the Nile region into one forum to exchange and share their knowledge on the current and future demands of the Nile water sector and to set priorities for capacity development activities in the near future. After four years now, NBCBN started its new phase called transition phase up to 2018. The Next network phase aims at consolidating the network activities in the Nile basin and focusing on the three main components of Capacity Building including research, training and education. In its future the network aims at more collaboration and partnerships between different basin institutions and orient its activities and innovative solutions to deal with key water problems and issues in the basin.