Faculty of Arts

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

South Africa School of Social Sciences


Associate Professor Bimo Nkhata


South Africa

  • Term 3 2016 (Day)


Water governance refers to the diverse range of political, social, economic and administrative arrangements within which water resources are managed and water needs are met by different sectors of society. In this unit, students are introduced to key concepts of water governance addressing in particular: the interaction between water governance, poverty and development; institutional and legal frameworks for formal as well as informal water provision; core features of transboundary arrangements as well as the core issues to be addressed in the design, implementation and monitoring of water governance initiatives. The special features of water governance in Southern Africa and Africa generally are specifically analysed with attention paid to successes, failures and lessons to be learnt from other contexts. Issues of gender and social exclusion are also specifically addressed. Specific topics covered include;

  • Water governance: An overview
  • Water governance, poverty, industrialization and development - conceptual issues
  • The tasks of water governance in developing country contexts - key concepts and their critique
  • Water governance: institutions, organizations, rights, markets, law -Southern African aspects in comparative perspective
  • Transboundary aspects of water governance - Southern African aspects in comparative perspective
  • Design and implementation of water governance initiatives - general and Southern African aspects
  • Evaluation of water governance initiatives - general and Southern African aspects
  • Ensuring and maintaining access - gender, social exclusion and good governance


Specific objectives for this unit include:

  1. Provide comment on the latest debates, insights, concepts, technical knowledge and tools pertaining to governance aspects of Integrated Water Management in developing and developed country contexts, with a particular emphasis on Southern Africa in comparative context
  2. Compare and evaluate experiences from:
    1. the rest of Africa
    2. Asia
    3. selected relevant developed countries and apply these to the Southern African context
  3. Have a critical understanding of the dynamic interplay between science, policy making, management and governance
  4. Use a range of governance tools and methodologies to identify and balance interests among conflicting functions and water uses in developing country contexts
  5. Analyse and design basic elements of IWRM governance arrangements in developing country and transboundary contexts paying attention to lessons learnt from successes as well as failures from Southern African and other contexts
  6. Communicate the key elements of governance initiatives orally and in written form, presenting these in a systematic and contextually appropriate way, whilst paying attention to the diverse needs of governments, the private sector and civil society
  7. Undertake individual research on governance issues, critically evaluating materials accessed from a variety of standpoints and communicating the essential points of such materials in an accurate and contextually informed way
  8. Demonstrate an ability to use personal reflection and social learning to improve their individual abilities as well as their ability to work as part of a team.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)