IFSD partnered with Australia India Water Centre (AIWC) and the World Water Policy Journal to organize the first International Water Policy Lab Forum (WPL I) on 16 July 2021 with a goal to catalyse dialogue among actors engaged in various domains of water management, research, practice and policy. The Forum emphasized generating actionable solutions to problems concerning current and future water security.

The Forum was chaired by Dr Basundhara Bhattarai with sense setting remarks offered by Dr Hemant Ojha. Ms Jessica Dhungel also contributed to facilitating the meeting.

 The underlying ideas was to champion the co-production of policy, knowledge, and practice to tackle the world’s water and sustainability challenges in times of turbulence and uncertainty.   

 Aligning with WPL’s vision, the Forum aimed to focus on sharing and reflecting on current methods that can be further developed, promoted, strengthened and circulated in various contexts for a secure water future.

 The Forum provided an interactive space for eight  expert speakers:  

  •  Basant Maheshwari, Western Sydney University  
  • Vishal Narain, Management Development Institute
  • Kamal Devkota, Southasia Institute of Advanced Studies (SIAS)
  •  Vishal Singh, Centre for Ecology Development and Research (CEDAR)
  • Will Allen, Learning and Sustainability Specialist
  •  Karen Delfau, Water Governance, Gender, Knowledge Co-Creation Specialist
  • Emma Carmody, Restore Blue
  • Sarah Ransom, Australian Water Partnership (AWP) 

They shared their knowledge and unique stories on water management, policy and practice based on their experiences from different countries in the Asia-Pacific region  

This was then followed by interactive conversations with participants joining virtually from over a dozen countries. Overall, the forum was a huge success as everyone reinforced the importance of taking the water policy lab forward to co-create, co-produce, and co-design knowledge for better water policy outcomes.  

The discussion session was moderated by Prof Jeff Camkin. Prof Basant Maheshwari summarised key insights that emerged from the discussion.