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Mainstreaming GESI for transboundary water resource management

Enrollment is Closed

Enhancing capacities for mainstreaming gender, equality, and social inclusion (GESI) for sustainable transboundary water resource management

About This Course

This course aims to teach participants to identify and understand key concepts of Gender, Equality, and Social Inclusion (GESI), and to identify approaches for mainstreaming GESI into their institutions, programs, or projects. Targeting professionals working in transboundary natural resource governance, with an emphasis on water resource management, this course will help participants articulate how to contribute to GESI mainstreaming within water resource management activities and projects, to achieve a common goal of effective, sustainable, and inclusive water resource management that 'leaves no-one behind'.

The course is comprised of six modules that will take around two hours each to complete. Each module includes short video lectures and discussions, case studies, key readings, and a short assessment. The course is delivered by Southern African experts in gender, social equality, resilience and sustainable development, monitoring and evaluation, and transboundary water resource management. The modules focus on basic concepts of GESI, strategies for mainstreaming GESI into programs, projects, and transboundary institutions, and case studies showcasing GESI learnings for programs, projects, and institutions based in Southern Africa. Although learnings from this online training can be applied to a range of development projects and institutions, the case studies and examples in this training will be drawn from transboundary water resource management, particularly in the context of Southern Africa.

This online learning course on "Enhancing capacities for mainstreaming GESI for sustainable transboundary water resource management" is led and facilitated by researchers and consultants from the USAID Resilient Waters Program, the Global Water Partnership, the Centre for Sustainability Transitions at Stellenbosch University, the Climate Resilient Infrastructure Development Facility (CRIDF), the Southern African Development Community Groundwater Management Institute (SADC-GMI), and the Permanent Okavango River Basin Water Commission (OKACOM).

Learning Objectives

1. To introduce participants to the importance and benefits of mainstreaming GESI in transboundary water resource management programs, projects, and institutions.

2. To expose participants to key concepts and frameworks related to gender equality and social inclusion.

3. To introduce participants to key approaches for integrating and mainstreaming GESI in water resource management programs, projects, and institutions.


The course is comprised of three core learning modules and three elective modules. To complete the course, participants are required to complete Modules 1, 2 and 3 (core modules) and select one additional module from the elective module options (Module 4, 5, or 6). To receive a certificate of completion, participants will complete 4 modules in total (3 core and 1 elective). Each learning module will require around two hours to complete, with an estimated 8-12 hours to complete the course.

Course Structure

Complete all three Core Modules:

Module 1: Rationale for mainstreaming and integrating GESI

Module 2: Introducing key GESI concepts and frameworks

Module 3: Integrating GESI into project and program planning

Select one Elective Module:

Module 4: Additional GESI learnings for programs, projects, and proposals

Module 5: Monitoring and Evaluation as a tool for mainstreaming GESI

Module 6: Introduction to strategies for mainstreaming GESI in transboundary institutions

Meet the Course Instructors

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Vimbai Chasi

Vimbai Chasi is a Program Manager passionate about delivering change to communities in southern Africa. Working in international development for over 10 years, Vimbai is the Program Coordinator and Gender Advisor of the USAID Resilient Waters Program, which aims to build resilient, water secure communities across Southern Africa through improved livelihoods, management of natural resources, increased access to safe drinking water, and improved sanitation services. Vimbai’s work in GESI has supported the integration of female and youth empowerment in projects, the training of technical/operations staff, development of Monitoring and Evaluation and Learning protocols, the design of assessments and Action Plans, and the implementation of mainstreaming/transformation activities.

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Nadia Sitas

Nadia Sitas is a sustainability scientist working within the science-policy interface on issues related to social-ecological resilience, with a focus on equity and gender. Her research interests span both the social and ecological spheres and much of her experience comes from engaging in research and practice in the global south. Nadia has experience in leading and working in large transdisciplinary teams and is committed to research that can have transformative impact. For over a decade, Nadia has been involved in applied research where she has focused on understanding knowledge exchange processes linked to mainstreaming the environment into various decision-making contexts.

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Litumelo Mate-Sievers

Litumelo Mate-Sievers is a gender specialist for the Global Water Partnership Southern Africa, where she supports the implementation of the African Water Investment Programme (AIP) - Water Climate Development and Gender Transformation (WACDEP-G) at the regional and continental levels within the Africa Coordination Unit. Her key role includes supporting and promoting gender integration using the gender transformative approach in water security and climate change policies, strategies, and implementation plans in key mandated government ministries and other development actors in the WACDEP-G pilot countries in Africa.

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Caroline Solik

Caroline Solik has nine years’ experience in the planning, design, and delivery of regional water and climate programs in southern and eastern Africa. With a core interest in gender equality and sustainable livelihoods, Caroline conducts research, develops writing strategies and funding proposals, and engages stakeholders from local through to regional scales. Caroline’s technical engineering skills are coupled with a strong understanding of gender equality, social inclusion and climate issues associated with infrastructure interventions, and she has led the research and development of bespoke climate change risk and vulnerability assessments, livelihood hotspot mapping analyses, and gender guidelines for the FCDO-funded Climate Resilient Infrastructure Development Facility (CRIDF) since 2014.

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Lindsay Harris

Lindsay Harris is a Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) specialist with a background in human rights, who has worked predominantly within the development sector. Lindsay has considerable experience in designing and implementing MEL frameworks, training implementing partners, facilitating strategic planning sessions, building reporting structures to meet donor/investor compliance, and collecting, analyzing, and presenting qualitative and quantitative data in compelling ways to support evidence-based decision-making. Lindsay is currently part of the MEL team on the USAID Resilient Waters Program implemented by Chemonics International.

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Jamie Robertson

Jamie Robertson is a Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) specialist with USAID Resilient Waters, with an interest in applying behavioral science to development challenges. She has expertise in large-scale program design and evaluation, qualitative data collection, and analysis, in the fields of climate change, WASH, enterprise development, infrastructure, and public sector interventions. She also lectures in Monitoring and Evaluation Data Generation, Management, and Analysis.

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Batanayi Gwangwawa

Batanayi Gwangwawa is an experienced program manager, expert GESI strategist, qualitative researcher, evaluator, and published author who is passionate about inclusive development. Batanayi has 13 years’ experience in long-term program implementation, and monitoring and evaluation across Southern and Central Africa in various fields such as: infrastructure development; water and sanitation; food and water security; biodiversity; surface and groundwater management; natural resources management; microfinance; women, youth, and persons with disabilities empowerment; governance; and leadership.

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Joy Waddell

Joy Waddell is the learning and design coordinator for this online training course. She is as Research Associate at the Centre for Sustainability Transitions at Stellenbosch University. Joy has a background in human geography and disaster risk science, with a research interest in exploring how to strengthen collaborative governance processes in the global South as a way to strengthen resilience and reduce risk. Joy has experience coordinating multi-country research projects, designing and facilitating multi-stakeholder workshops, and designing online, in-person, and hybrid learning experiences for diverse audiences.

Meet the Guest Speakers

Caitlin Blaser Mapitsa | Research Director | Wits School of Governance, South Africa

Immaculate Mogotsi | Senior Research Fellow | Multi-Disciplinary Research Centre, University of Namibia

James Sauramba | Executive Director | SADC Groundwater Management Institute (SADC-GMI), South Africa

Katharine Vincent | Director | Kulima Integrated Development Solutions, South Africa

Leonissah Abwino-Munjoma | Program Manager | Zambezi Watercourse Commission Secretariat (ZAMCOM)

Maike Hamann | Senior Researcher | Centre for Sustainability Transitions, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Nawa Mwale | Gender Advisor | Global Water Partnership Southern Africa

Nina Callaghan | Researcher | Centre for Sustainability Transitions, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Odirile Selomane | Senior Researcher | Centre for Sustainability Transitions, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Pinimidzai Sithole | Program Officer: Bupusa GEF Project | Global Water Partnership Southern Africa

Rudo Sanyanga Hungwe | Environmental and Social Expert | Southern Africa

Reinhold Mangundu | Environmental Youth Activist | Namibia

Tara Daniel | Senior Program Manager | Women's Environment and Development Organization (WEDO)

Frequently Asked Questions

What web browser should I use?

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See our list of supported browsers for the most up-to-date information.

Can I receive a certificate for this course?

All learners have the opportunity to earn a free digital Certificate of Completion awarded by UNESCO and USAID, upon completing the course. To receive this digital certificate, you will need to complete all 3 core modules and one additional elective module (4 modules in total), with a grade of 60% or higher for each module assessment. You will also need to complete the pre-course and post-course surveys.

Are there prerequisites for this course?

No. Everyone is welcome to take this introductory course.