event 27 Sep 2022

Nexus Interview Series // Eleonora Hoffmann, Advisor Global Nexus Secretariat, Human Capacity Development

The interview series aims to provide a better picture of the people within the Nexus team and their perspectives on Water Energy Food Nexus challenges and opportunities. In this episode, we invite you to get to know Eleonora Hoffmann, coordinating the Human Capacity Development activities in her position as Advisor at the Global Nexus Secretariat.

Nexus Interview Series Intro EH

Eleonora has been working in the Global Nexus Secretariat since May 2022. She responsible for Human Capacity Development (HCD) as well as actively supporting the Global Nexus Secretariat.

Before joining the Secretariat, she has been, among other things, an advisor for strategic and technical policy advice and support to the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and a specialist in knowledge management at GIZ. Prior to that, she worked for Prof. Dr. Klaus Töpfer to advise on the reform of the United Nations development system, and as a project assistant at the Global Policy Forum (GPF), mainly researching the role of private actors in international organisations, climate negotiations, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

She holds a Master's degree in International Relations and Development Policy and is currently studying a part-time Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies.

How would you describe the role of the Global Nexus Secretariat, and how does it support the different dialogues?

The role of our small Global Nexus Secretariat (GNS) team at headquarters in Germany may look very typical at first glance, i.e.: coordinating and communicating. Overall, that is true, the GNS Team supports our colleagues in the five regions of the Nexus Regional Dialogues (NRD) Programme. The NRD implements activities such as policy or investment dialogues in the regions doing a great job at institutionalising the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus approach at different levels.

In close exchange with these colleagues, we in the GNS collect, use and process the experiences, stories and information received, for example from the dialogues in the countries. Thereby we try to increase the visibility of the Nexus approach and its added value for many areas through our work in the GNS every day. We actively promote the WEF Nexus approach and our work at events or on our Nexus Resource Platform (NRP) through a flow of information and knowledge, especially to practitioners, policymakers or also investors. Additionally, our training materials (which can be downloaded by anybody from our NRP) and the trainings provided within the regions, help to empower our future “WEF Nexus Ambassadors”, strengthen their skills and capacities, raise awareness of the WEF Nexus and initiate dialogues between different sectors.

With a focus on Human Capacity Development – what are some important aspects when designing trainings on the WEF Nexus, and why?

When developing our WEF Nexus trainings - a central element to our programme – we asked ourselves: “Who is the target group? What is their background and (prior) knowledge? At which level should the training take place (e.g., regional or national)? How should the training be delivered (on-site in-person participation, or online)?”

It is also important to adapt the newly developed training materials according to the training’s needs in order to reflect different scales, sectors and types of projects.

In doing so, we aim, among other things, to raise awareness and increase WEF Nexus application worldwide. Firstly, by bringing together actors from different sectors, stimulating cross-sectoral dialogues and collaboration through the trainings, especially amongst relevant political decision-makers. Secondly by guiding investment decisions related to water, energy and food security. Tools such as hands-on guidelines, exercises and case studies from different regions and projects help demonstrate the Nexus approach and the interconnections between the WEF sectors, its potential synergies and trade-offs. This makes it is easier to first understand the topic and then communicate its complexity to the participants of a training course and sensitise them to think beyond their own field of work. This acquired knowledge and skills gained will then hopefully be used by the participants in their daily (working) life.

What trainings or activities are you looking forward to as we enter the last year of Phase II?

Overall, I am looking forward to any training or related activities, be it in-person or online. Each training brings us closer to our goal of raising awareness of the topic, generating interest, empowering different stakeholders, allowing policymakers to develop policy frameworks and plans or identifying investment possibilities. It is also a step towards potentially identifying other possibilities of WEF Nexus institutionalisation.

My feeling is that there are further opportunities for our Human Capacity Development materials, and other developed products, to be used not only by us and our partners, but also by other stakeholders such as universities. The modular breakdown of the training materials and the way that this allows them to be adapted to specific needs are simply excellent for different target groups e.g., universities, NGO’s etc.

I think, the WEF Nexus approach could be interesting for many, and we could contribute to breaking down silo thinking within the different sectors. I am very excited about how our colleagues, but also partners and others, use the training materials and adapt them to their needs and I am looking forward to the feedback we receive.

Thank you Eleonora for taking the time to answer these questions!

More Information on the Nexus Regional Dialogues Programme

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