WAVE (1st Phase 2007-2010): Human Capacity Development Programme

The WAVE programme was designed and implemented by the GIZ Division «Natural Resources and Biodiversity». 

Based at the International Training Centre Zschortau (near Leipzig), we focussed on natural resources policy and management, regional planning, integrated land and water management, water resources management, ecosystems management, biodiversity conservation and forestry, and climate change adaptation.

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We are engaged in capacity building programmes through dialogue, training, networking and strategic human resources development in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, Asia, and Southeast Europe as well as in Germany. 

The WAVE capacity building programme (1st phase 2007-2010) aimed at improving the efficiency of water supply and the capacity of senior management and professional staff in water utilities as well as of other actors in the water sector for better urban water supply services. The GIZ implemented WAVE in close cooperation with national partners in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). WAVE Partners are water service providers, training providers/colleges, ministries, regulators, water associations, water boards, local government authorities, the private sector, and NGOs.

Strategically, WAVE aimed at supporting Water Sector Reforms in the partner countries through improved water services and thereby contributing to the national development plans and Millenium Development Goals. 

Key elements of these reforms: 

  • Separation of policy formulation, regulation, water resources management and service provisions;
  • New arrangements of responsibilities and managerial tasks between ministries, regulators, asset managers, commercial utilities, water agencies or authorities, and private operators;
  • Decentralisation of power and responsibilities; and
  • Commercialization and business orientation.

A new «business mindset» is required at all staff levels to manage water service provisions.

WAVEplus (2011-2013): Strengthening Water Sector Institutions through Human Capacity Development

The GIZ multi-country programme WAVEplus supports water sector institutions in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Southern Sudan with human capacity building.

An increased effectiveness and efficiency of these institutions, mainly water service providers, is expected to contribute to better service provision in the water sector with larger numbers of population groups getting access to potable water and sanitation services.

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Integral elements of WAVEplus are tailored, interlinked training courses consisting of three phases (preparation – face-to-face – follow up), dialogue and networking measures to improve the capacity of senior management and professional staff of water utilities and other institutions like training service providers and associations.

Web-based learning tools complement the innovative repertory of human capacity building formats, which primarily promote the exchange on good practices – nationally and regionally. In doing so, learning processes on individual, organisational and sector levels are stimulated improving the performance of professional staff as well as of organisations. Hence, they contribute to better service provision in the water sector.

Enabling Learning Environment

«Building capacity to build capacity» is the motto of this component.

The measures target selected trainers, e-tutors and training institutions. Already under the WAVE programme, an additional demand for trainers and products like training manuals going beyond the WAVE programme itself became obvious.

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Therefore, the aim is not only to increase the number of trainers, but also to improve the professional and didactical quality of training interventions to meet the increased demand. In particular, national and regional training of trainers courses (ToT), coaching of trainers on the job, exchange and peer support of trainers are capacity building formats to be applied under this component.


One important new feature of the programme is the strengthening of capacities in ‘in-house training’ for water service providers as part of a more comprehensive organisational learning process.

The training component covers selected managerial and operational areas. The main target groups are managers and mid-management staff. Key capacity building formats include national face-to-face training courses, e.g. on non-revenue water (NRW) and commercialisation and customer orientation (CCO) as well as e-learning courses, e.g. on organisational development and sanitation.

In all training courses participants do design action plans to be implemented at their workplaces to ensure that acquired knowledge is transformed into result-oriented actions. Learning formats addressing particularly managing directors complement this component.


Sharing of good practice experience is an integral part of this component. Key elements are the national WAVE pools, which steer and coordinate the activities of the WAVEplus programme at the national level. The national WAVE pools jointly constitute the regional WAVE pool.

The national pool networks are headed by the main WAVE partner in the respective country, the so-called WAVE focal point. Key water players of each country’s water sector, like water service providers, training providers, associations, ministries, regulators, water boards and other institutions are represented in the national WAVE pools.

The WAVE Net includes web-based activities, e.g. with a web-based follow-up of training course action plans, a documentation section and an alumni chat facility on specific topics.