YouKnoW! is a new virtual space for collaboration founded on collective wisdom working towards solving today’s water challenges. It’s an online centralized dynamic database where youth-led organizations and project leaders in various water-related domains/topics are able to connect with a vibrant community, get support and also promote various thematics around the world. The included domains include Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), Water Governance and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), just to name few. .
The IWRM approach was initially most comprehensively articulated at the International Conference on Water and the Environment (ICWE) in Dublin, Ireland, on 26 to 31 January 1992, which was informed by what became known as the Dublin Principles. This approach seeks to achieve water security via an optimum balance among the ‘three Es’: efficiency, equity and environment. However, to achieve this balance, it is useful to view the IWRM approach as the operationalization of what are often termed ‘IWRM principles’. These can be expressed very simply as the recognition that water is a public good with both social and economic values, and that good water resources management requires both, a broad holistic perspective and the appropriate involvement of users at different levels.
The YouKnow! platform is an open window through which we (WYN) are promoting the IWRM approach with organization partners and project leaders. This can be demonstrated at a variety of scales from local level to a large one. To what concerns community-level initiatives, the platform includes the case AME O TUCUNDA, located in the city of Belém, Brazil. This project aims at improving the participatory and inclusive community engagement process, bearing in mind an environmental balance of water, using innovative instruments of education and sustainability. Another example case is the Initiative for Climate Action and Development (ICAD), where a local NGO is working on addressing climate change, environmental and development challenges through innovative, evidence-based and sustainable solutions in a rural community of Malawi.
In terms of large scale initiatives, the Mekong youth assembly is an interesting case from Asia. The initiative covers six countries and seeks to bring about change in environmental concerns by working with their communities and promote collaborative management of the Mekong river that nurtures a huge portion of Asia. There is also the Uganda Water and Sanitation NGO Network which works on helping the government realize its targets of alleviating poverty and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through universal access to safe, sustainable water and improved sanitation.
Those few examples highlight the importance of YouKnow! in showcasing youth organizations and project leaders all over the world and most importantly in the promotion of IWRM in different regions by addressing it’s different approach – social, environmental and economic.
Soon, besides the map, we intend to develop a new feature called the “Ideas Incubator”. This tool will boost the ideas of youth and aims to even provide the first steps for developing such ideas into complete projects in different water related domains. IWRM is thus considering tol work on having a special toolkit for those interested in using its principle in the conception of his/her idea.
Do you have a youth project yourself and what to share it with the world? Awesome!
Share it on the YouKnoW! platform here.
Do you want to help us create the “Ideas incubator” toolkit or want to share ideas on how to improve the map? We’d love to hear from you!
Contact the YouKnoW! team: YouKnoWfeedback@wateryouthnetwork.org