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Competence formation and post-graduate education in the public water sector in Indonesia

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Author(s): J. M. Kaspersma | G. J. Alaerts | J. H. Slinger

Journal: Hydrology and Earth System Sciences Discussions
ISSN 1812-2108

Volume: 9;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 629;
Date: 2012;
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ABSTRACT
A framework is introduced, describing three aggregate competences for technical issues, management and governance, and a meta-competence for continuous learning and innovation, for the water sector. The four competences are further organised in a T-shaped competence profile. The framework and an assessment methodology were tested in a case study on post-graduate water education for professional staff in the Directorate General Water Resources (DGWR) in Indonesia. Though DGWR professionals have a firmly "technical" orientation, both the surveys and interviews show strong interest in the other competences: in particular the learning meta-competence, as well as the aggregate competence for management. The aggregate competence for governance systematically scores lower. A discrepancy appears to exist between the competences that staff perceive as needed in daily work, and those that could be acquired during post-graduate water education. In both locally-based and international post-graduate water education, the aggregate competences for management as well as governance are reportedly addressed modestly, if at all. With only little competence in these disciplines, it will be difficult for professionals to communicate and collaborate effectively in an interdisciplinary way. As a result, the horizontal bar of the T-shaped profile remains weakly developed. In international post-graduate education, this seems partly compensated by the attention for continuous learning and innovation. The exposure to a different culture and learning format is reported as fundamentally formative. The policies of DGWR have gone through three distinct phases. In the first phase (1970–1987) technical competence and learning were valued highly and training was arranged effectively; in the current phase the need to develop new competences is raising new challenges.
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