The pilot edition of the virtual course "Introduction to the Water, Energy and Food Nexus in Latin America and the Caribbean" organised by the GIZ Nexus Regional Dialogues (NRD) Programme took place between May 18 and June 15, 2021, with 21 participants from the region as well as from Germany and Spain. The course was produced with the financial support of the European Union and the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development.
Participants from academia, the public, and the private sector got the opportunity to learn about these and other topics in the pilot of the virtual course held in Spanish. The course aimed to provide theoretical and conceptual foundations to understand the interrelationships between water, energy, and food (WEF) security in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the contribution of the Nexus approach to the management of these interrelationships. Antonio Levy, NRD Regional Coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) with the support of the Global Nexus Secretariat, together with expert consultant Joaquín Tognoli, organised and led the course.
The course was launched in a hybrid model on the e-learning platform atingi, with 10 self-directed audio-visual modules complemented by three synchronic virtual live seminars that enhanced the interactive mode interactivity of participation. The modules included both thematic contents as well as exercises and questions for self-assessment which were deepened in two online discussion forums.
Participants in the virtual live seminars got the chance to exchange on the content and to learn about real-world WEF Nexus case studies presented by various guest speakers and contributions from participants. Case studies ranged from on-farm solutions, such as solar-powered irrigation schemes, to bigger infrastructure projects such as dams. These examples and discussions with project implementers enhanced the participants’ understanding of how the WEF Nexus can be translated into practice.
The virtual course covers a wide array of WEF Nexus topics relevant to the region in the 10 thematic modules, each supplemented by regional case studies and research. A general overview of the WEF Nexus, covering basic concepts, historic foundations of the WEF Nexus and regional challenges kicks off the course (1), followed by a dive into the role of Nexus to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda (2). Interrelationships and scales between WEF elements are then explored (3), including priorities in the region, focusing on watersheds (4). Module 5 looks at multiple uses of water and associated advantages and disadvantages. Energy efficiency in water services is the subject of the following module, which covers basic concepts of energy efficiency, energy consumption in the water services sector, and possible alternatives for improvements (6). Modules 7 and 8 cover economic and fiscal aspects, covering topics such as relative prices, economic command and control instruments, and instruments to support the growth of renewable energies and sustainable agricultural policies. The course closes with case studies of Nexus interlinkages in Chile, Peru and Costa Rica (9) and a proposed methodology tool for implementing the Nexus approach (10).
All participants reported good to excellent reviews regarding the clarity and quality of the course content. Participants found the course to be very clear, innovative, interesting and easy to follow. At the same time, suggestions for improvement were received and have been implemented to perfect the course in future offerings.
Following the success of the pilot, we will soon schedule another hybrid course, as well as open the course to the general public via self-paced learning modes. For accessibility and future dates, please check our website regularly. In addition, given the great feedback from the participants, the programme plans to translate and adapt the course into English for a wider audience.
You can read the article in Spanish here.