United Communities Academia Network (UCAN)

During the 8th World Water Forum (WWF8), with took place on March 20, 2018, in Brasilia, Brazil, GIWEH launched an initiative for cooperation  that unites and connects organizational communities with academia so as to create a strong  and active network (United Communities Academia Network - UCAN). 

This initiative was launched at the Swiss Pavillon at a very special event - during a session on Supporting the 2030 sustainable development agenda through community-based approaches, and before the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) event on networks and opportunities for partnerships between the private sector and the government. It was introduced to a large audience, encompassing the regional representatives of more than 500 NGOs, leaders and coordinators from Africa, Asia, Central Asia, Europe, MENA region and South America.

The aim of UCAN is inclusive and integrative - it is to build an international network that links academic institutions with NGOs, development organizations, and governments. Dr. Nidal Salim, General Director of GIWEH, emphasized the importance of such alliance, and its ability to create a momentum for major improvements in global cooperation.

The 4 main objective of the alliance are: 

  1. To support research and academic institutions nationally and internationally,
  2. To provide NGOs with appropriate technologies and tailor-based innovations, 
  3. To build a positive environment conducive to cooperation at local and regional levels, and 
  4. To build a holistic interactive dialogue between academia NGOs, private sector and governments, in order to enhance good governance and to align to the People, Science and Government initiative.

Academia will perform tests, build capacity, gather technical knowledge and disseminate data, in cooperation with NGOs that will develop operational interventions plans. Altogether, they will promote participation in the policy-making process, effectively engage with stakeholders and experts, and share information a way that aligns with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Dr. Salim highlighted the importance of promoting the agenda amongst all actors, in order to transform current challenges into long-term sustainable solutions with a real impact on the ground.

He concluded the discussion by inviting the audience to cooperate and join the movement. He informed that UCAN is “looking for active partners, and this alliance is open to all NGOs, universities, and research institutions from all over the globe.”

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