The meeting served to review and take stock of the performance, impact and relevance of the SWIM program during its implementation period in Israel.
It involved representatives from different departments of the Israeli Governmental Authority for Water and Sewage and the Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection.
The importance of SWIM-SM as a regional platform promoting intra- and inter-sector dialogue and networking was acknowledged by participants who also praised its demand-led nature and the agreed management arrangements, including the Steering Committee as the forum driving the project. Moreover, a set of recommendations were made for improving its impacts including through:
• The set-up of a follow up/monitoring mechanism, particularly regarding the performance of participants in capacity building activities. In that context, the value of study tours as training method for practitioners was emphasised as a tangible contribution to empowering water related institutions and increasing capacities
• further outreach efforts, including through operational synergies and collaborations, to identify and disseminate sustainable water practices and state-of-the-art technologies
• more exercises/practical applications and hands-on demonstrations, ideally in a cross-country composition of expert or working groups
• more presence of European experts and administrators for sharing EU experience and lessons learnt. The missed opportunity of utilising more often Israel as contributor to knowledge sharing events (i.e. speakers, presenters, case studies, etc) was also raised in this context.
Further practical advice was provided on how to make the design and implementation of activities more functional and better adapted to the participant’s conditions.