The vision of the partnership was to establish a long-term, mutually beneficial academic partnership between the U.S. and Ethiopian institutions to train the next generation of leaders to develop and manage Ethiopia’s water resources in a sustainable and productive manner.
The partner universities collaborated to prepare professionals capable of undertaking relevant research and to address development challenges through demand-driven and problem-solving research and community engagement. Community engagement focused on providing access to clean water and on educating community members about sanitary health practices. Women, in particular, were encouraged to participate in all community activities.
The partners aligned their objectives with the higher education expansion and reform strategies of the Ministry of Education and Water Sector of the Ministry of Water Resources and Development, and with health-sector development strategies of the Ministry of Health. Partners collaborated and promoted synergies with U.S. government (USG) initiatives in Ethiopia. The partnership activities also aligned with USAID/Ethiopia’s Sustainable Water Resources Management programs; Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH); Climate Change Adaptation and USAID’s overall Human and Institutional Capacity Development (HICD) strategies.
USAID’s grant to support Ethiopia’s Sustainable Water Resources: Capacity Building in Education, Research, and Outreach program addressed the critical need for institutional capacity and workforce expertise for sustainable development and management of the country’s water resources. In Ethiopia, the shortage of highly trained professionals in the water sector means bottlenecks in higher education institutions and shortfalls in developing and managing the nation’s water resources that require outside assistance.