14 Aug Bounthavivanh Mixap
Country of citizenship: Laos
Undergraduate qualification: Bachelor of Social Sciences, University of Newcastle, Australia
Completed scholarship: 2015
Current role/s: Mekong Regional Water Governance Capacity Building and Networking Coordinator – Oxfam; EWPP Coordinator – International RiverFoundation.
“To me, it is very important that leaders have extensive experience and knowledge across their discipline in order to deeply understand the issues, have a clear vision for practical and sustainable solutions, and to gain the respect of everyone involved. Learning from textbooks and theories is a good background, but unless you try to implementthose theories in the field, you can only assume that it will work. “One size does not fit all” and that is why a number of organisations, educational institutions and workplaces encourage their staff/students to interact and connect with people that are sharing the same interest/goal or working in the same discipline. There is no exception when it comes to water management.
To effectively and sustainably manage water resources, we can not simply look at water management from purely scientific or engineering lens but we need a team of people who can contribute to a more comprehensive solution. This includes an ability to look at the problems from different perspectives including the social aspect (how different ethnic groups, or people with disabilities, for example, will be impacted by certain policy or decision making), the environmental aspect and of course the economic aspect.
By integrating, involving and empowering people from different background/skills to be a part of water management, I believe we will see that there is more than one direction in solving problems and together we will be able to better achieve a sustainable water management through interdisciplinary approaches.”