Applying Dutch water expertise abroad; how to contribute effectively in the Romanian context


J. Vinke-de Kruijff

Dr. D.C.M. Augustijn S.J.M.H. Hulscher

Prof.dr. J.Th.A. Bressers


University of Twente


University of Twente

Provincie Overijssel




Although Dutch water expertise is highly appreciated around the world, the export of water management is currently a point of special attention to the Dutch Government. In the recently presented Water Vision, it states that the international position of the Dutch water sector needs to be strengthened, since it is having great difficulties to retain and expand its international market position (see also the Dutch Water Vision, 2007). The objective of this PhD project is to provide new insights how to apply Dutch water expertise more effectively abroad. The project concentrates on the application of participatory methods and integrated approaches in the field of flood risk management in Romania. In this country, many water projects have been and are still undertaken with the assistance of Dutch money and expertise.

The objective of this project is: “To provide insights in the contribution of Dutch expertise to the solving of water management problems in transition countries, such as Romania, by investigating – for several Dutch-Romanian case study projects – the motivation, cognitions and resources (including Dutch expertise) of actors involved, and relevant contextual factors”. The main research strategy is case study research. So far, we analyzed one completed project and we are following the developments in three other projects. All these projects address issues related to flood risk management. In addition, we study the development of water governance in Romania. Expected project results are: (1) theoretical insights on solving water problems; (2) insights related to water management in the Romanian context; and (3) recommendations on the effective application of Dutch expertise in Romania and other countries.

Until May 2011 the principal researcher resides in Bucharest. Here, a working place is provided by Haskoning Romania. In addition to this company, the following organizations participate in the user committee of this research: Provincie Overijssel, Deltares, HKV­CONSULTANTS, NWP/EVD-Partners voor Water, Unie van Waterschappen en Dienst Landelijk Gebied.