Al Jayyousi - WANA's Value Chain: A Conceptual Framework


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Al Jayyousi - WANA's Value Chain: A Conceptual Framework

  1. 1. WANA and the Value Chain: Towards a Conceptual Framework for Human Security Prof. Odeh Al-Jayyousi, Regional Director- IUCN E-mail: the scene: Insights on water management may be gained by looking at three different levels:local level, where operations are carried out, regional level, where policies are made,and global level where funding and external support are generated. It is crucial to identifythe “enabling factors” such as sound water instiutions and laws and “change agents"such as WANA forum to build the bridges between water stakeholders at global, regionaland local arenas. This article aims to shed some light on a framework for viewing and harnessingwater-energy-food tacit and explicit knowledge in WANA region. The birth of a neweconomic system is driving the changes in governance models, just as it did in the earlymodern era, when market capitalism outmoded the feudal economy and forced a shift ingoverning models from city-states to modern nation-states. It is argued that the market-exchange economy and territory-bound nation state were not designed to accommodatea communication revolution (or transformation) that can envelop the globe and connecteveryone and everything on the planet simultaneously. The result is that we arewitnessing the birth of a new economic system and new governing institutions that areas different from market capitalism and the modern territorial state as the latter werefrom the feudal economy and dynastic rule of an era ago. Markets, in effect, are linear, discrete and discontinuous modes of operation. Thenew communications technologies and partnerships, by contrast, are cybernetic, notlinear. The operational assumptions that guide networks (like WANA forum) transformmuch of conventional modes of partnerships/ networks models and open up a newwindow for rethinking governance of natural resources and linkages between water,energy, food, water, and environment.
  2. 2. In a globalized economy where everybody is connected and ever more interdependent,the idea of autonomous free agents maximizing their individual self-interests in simpleexchange transactions in markets seems an obslete notion. A network or a think tank(like WANA), in a very real sense, is a regional model that is commissied to devise ameta-narrative for a regional vision for regional cooperation. WANA forum should lookfor “the hidden connections” that store the social DNA for innvovation and inspiartion fora tranistion to sustainability by linking practice to policy and science to policy.WANA forum can facailiate dialogue and be a convening platform for “socilaization andcombination of knowledge”. WANA forum can be harnessed as a vehicle formainstareming and navigation of knowlegde in hydro-informatics, regional watergovernnace, environmental flow, environmental economics, human-centreddevelopment and public participation. WANA forum key role is to promote the circulationof ideas and initiatives for a susatainable WANA as a human civilization.Conceptual framework: Knowledge Creation in the Water SectorThe dynamic transformations and changing nature of the water sector demands moreanticipatory responses from the water organizations, communities and professionalswho need to carry out the mandate of a faster cycle of knowledge-creation and actionlearning based on the new water knowledge (Al-Jayyousi, 2001). Taken-for-granted interpretation of knowledge works against the generation ofmultiple and contradictory viewpoints that are necessary for meeting the challengeposed by transformations in the water management in many developing countries frompublic to community or to public-private participation (Al-Jayyousi, 2001).It has been argued in the integrated water management literature that water may beused as a means for peace and development, but “water for knowledge creation” is anoverlooked concept. The current conception of IT-enabled knowledge managementdoesnt address the processing of tacit knowledge, which is deeply rooted in anindividuals action and experience, ideals, values, or emotions (Nonaka & Takeuchi1995). Although tacit knowledge lies at the very basis of organizational knowledgecreation, its nature renders it highly personal and hard to formalize and to communicate.
  3. 3. Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995) have suggested that knowledge is created throughfour different modes as illustrated in Figure 1: 1. Socialization which involves conversion from tacit knowledge to tacit knowledge, 2. Externalization which involves conversion from tacit knowledge to explicit knowledge, 3. Combination which involves conversion from explicit knowledge to explicit knowledge, and 4. Internalization which involves conversion from explicit knowledge to tacit knowledge. To tacit To explicit knowledge knowledge From tacit Socialization Externalization knowledge From Internalization Combination explicit knowledge Figure 1: Model of organizational knowledge creation The dominant model of inquiring systems manifested in water networks andpartnetships is limited in its ability to foster shared experience necessary for relating toothers thinking processes thus limiting its utility in socialization. It may, by virtue of itsability to convert tacit knowledge into explicit forms such as metaphors, analogies andmodels, have some utility in externalization. This utility is however restricted by its abilityto support dialogue or collective reflection. The current model of inquiring systems, apparently, may have greater role incombination, which involves combining different bodies of explicit knowledge, andinternalization, which involves knowledge transfer through verbalizing into documents,manuals, and stories. A more explicit recognition of tacit knowledge and related humanaspects, such as ideals, values, or emotions, is necessary for developing a richerconceptualization of knowledge management. Subjective and interpretative nature of
  4. 4. knowledge creation calls for interpretation of new events and re-interpretation ofpractices; such as, water deslination, water harvesting, traditional water uses practices(Aflaj and Kanat), and water rights.Interestingly, the constructive aspect of knowledge creation is also expected to enablemultiple interpretations that can facilitate the organizations anticipatory response todiscontinuous change. Some examples in this realm include the following: a. The shift of paradigm from water supply-driven policies to demand-driven. b. The introduction of the closed loop concept where sanitation and agriculture are incorporated in the water management. c. The view of wastewater as a resource rather than a waste. d. The definition of water as an economic and as social good rather than a free good. e. The distinction of many “forms or types” of water like Blue water, Green water, Greywater and Virtual water and water footprints. f. The realization of the need to evolve and nurture water partnerships and to incorporate local water knowledge in water management in WANA.To operationalize KM in the water-energy-food nexus in WANA, it is critical to ensure aprocess of team learning and the realization of a community of practice. Team learningis the process of aligning and developing the capacity of a group to create the resultsthat its members truly desire. It builds on the discipline of developing shared vision. Italso builds on personal mastery, for talented teams are made up of talented individuals.When teams learn, they become a microcosm for learning throughout the organisation.Insights gained are put into action. Skills developed can propagate to other individualsand to other teams. The teams accomplishments can set the tone and establish thestandard for learning together for the WANA region. Such teams have in fact been called“communities of practice”. Communities of practice (CoPs) have shared culture, identityand history which evolved over time. One possible WANA results can be to develop aset of COPs in water, energy, and food. Another result can be to develop scenarions for“virtual water” and food security in WANA.
  5. 5. This process of knowledge and value creation requires engaging with key partners andstakeholders in WANA. The propsoed approach for WANA forum is to invest time andresources in a small number of partnerships like KAUST, MASDAR, etc. Whensuccessful, WANA Forum can become more explicitly associated with a specific partnerand ensure the existence of an enabling environmnet for knowledge creation through theidentification of the following (Senge, 1995):  Knowledge navigators who represent middle managenet prefessionals in all sectors.  Knowledge architechts who represent senior staff and policy makers.  Team learning processes through structured meetings and communication.In summary, the following key issues have been identified as constraints to improvedwater management in WANA:i. the need for inter-stakeholder agreement on how to assess various wastewater reuse options;ii. fragmented and unclear governance of the water basin;iii. crucial environmental, health and social concerns in wastewater reuse in agriculture;iv. Lack of sufficient awareness on water conservation and demand management practices and pollution prevention.Water entities in WANA (like UN, IUCN, etc) can contribute to make the transition to anew water paradigm in the WANA Region. These requirements are: 1) Capacity: There is a need to build a “water knowledge society”. Capacity needs to be built from within, but nurtured from the outside; 2) Pilot Activities: There is a need to build technical networks based on the experience of pilot sites; 3) Capital: It will be important to mobilize capital and ensure that it is invested wisely; 4) Collaboration: There is a need to scale-up collaboration and to promote regional dialogue and diplomatic efforts.
  6. 6. Table 1 outlines the modes and forms for KC in the case of the restoration of the ZarqaRiver. Local knowledge for indigenous communities about early fishing practices, landcover and agricultural practices, which is tacit, requires a process to be “externalized”and to be fed in the current thinking. This can be carried out through having a semi-structured forum or focus group discussions to share this knowledge through story-telling, reflection and effective communication. Many donors adopt this approach tosynthesize local knowledge.Within different local communities, who have a richness of “tacit” knowledge,“socialization” takes place in the form informal dialogues and meetings. This is facilitatedthrough a process of “cultural communication” which encourages sharing experiencesand knowledge in an informal manner.Combination of explicit knowledge normally takes place among policy makers,professional people, experts, and technicians in different administrative settings andlocations through a more structured and formal meetings, publications, e-communication, e-debates and facilitated workshops.Internalizing an explicit knowledge to be tacit, is part of evolving a new awareness andconsciousness which takes some time for people to embody knowledge. Usually, thisform of knowledge requires action and experiential learning.Table 1. The process of KC through networks and partnerships in WANAObjective WANA Partners/network Process for s KC1. Practice Document best MoW, MoE, UoJ, Combination and bad InWRDAM, JUST, and practices in InWent, IUCN, socialization freshwater UNU, etc… management2. InstrumentsInstitutions & Supporting MoE, InWent, UoJ, CombinationNegotiations institutional JES, FoE, JACA, capacity building IUCN, UNU, etc… Establish support mechanisms for stronger decision making capacity
  7. 7. Consolidate existing networks and partnerships on sustainable water managementEconomics & Develop and UoJ, IUCN, UNU, Internalization;Finance support etc.. application of economic incentive mechanismsCommunications & Facilitate the JES, IUCN, ExternalizationNew Learning dissemination of InWRDAM, MoE, accurate and UoJ. relevant information on ecosystem approach to water management3. Policy Promote a Arab Leaguem Combination; systemic AWC, MoE, MoW, Socilaization. approach for IUCN water managementReferences:Al-Jayyousi, O., and Mamlouk, R., Expert Knowledge-Based System for Evaluating Water ConservationPrograms in Jordan Using Fuzzy Sets. IEEE Proceedings on Computer Simulations and Modeling, Aug. 24,2000. Philadelphia University, Amman-Jordan.Al-Jayyousi, O. and Shatanawi, M., An Analysis of Future Water Policies in Jordan Using DecisionSupport Systems. International Journal of Water Resources Development, Vol. 11, No. 3, 1995, U. K.Al-Jayyousi. O. R., Capacity building for desalination in Jordan: necessary conditions for sustainable watermanagement. Desalination 141 (2001) 169-179.Al-Jayyousi, O. R., A Methodology for evaluating environmental impact of solid waste disposal sites: Casestudy from Jordan. The Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering. Vol. 26, Number 2C, Dec. 2001.Al-Jayyousi O.R., and Mohsen. Evaluating small RO units for domestic uses in Jordan. Desalination. 139(2001) 237-247.Al-Jayyousi O. R. Focused environmental analysis for greywater reuse in Jordan. Env. Eng. And Policy.Dec. (2002).Al-Jayyousi O. R. and Mrtin Jaffe. Planning models for sustainable water resources development. Env.Planning and Management. 45 (3) May 2002.Nonaka, Ikujiro and Hirotaka Takeuchi, (1995). The knowledge-creating company: How Japanesecompanies create the dynamics of innovation.
  8. 8. Rifkin J, (2004). The Eurpopean Dream. Penguin, UK.Senge, Peter. (1995). The Fifth Discipline: The art and practice of the learning organization.