Dr Philippus (Flip) Wester, Chief Scientist Water Resources Management at the ICIMOD since March 2013, is a water resources management and governance expert with 20 years of experience in developing, managing and implementing research, capacity building and education programmes in water resources management.
From 2001 to 2013 he was an Assistant Professor of Water Governance and Institutional Change at Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands, after working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands as Bilateral Associate Expert Water Management in Bangladesh from 1995 to 1998 (with the Bangladesh Water Development Board) and in Mexico from 1998 to 2000 (with the International Water Management Institute). In his research and capacity building, he focuses on land and water resources management from an integrated and transdisciplinary perspective, with attention to the politics and governance of water resources, river basin management, water reform and allocation processes, floods and water governance in mountains and deltas, participatory groundwater management, and irrigation water management. Trained as an interdisciplinary sociotechnical water management researcher with a PhD degree in Water Resources Management from Wageningen University, he has 20 years of professional experience, in which he has developed a thorough understanding of the interrelationships between the social, technical, political and physical dimensions of water resources management.
He combines research with capacity building and has a strong track record in the management of complex projects, including as Principal Investigator of the NWO-WOTRO Integrated Programme ‘Communities and institutions for flood resilience: enhancing knowledge and capacity to manage flood risk in the Bangladeshi and Dutch Deltas’. He was the overall project director for the consortium led by Wageningen University executing the Nuffic NICHE project on ‘Capacity Building for Integrated Water Resources Management in South Africa’ and project coordinator for Wageningen University in the Nuffic funded ‘Strengthening Ethiopian Universities in Integrated River Basin Management’ project.
As a researcher he has designed and executed interdisciplinary water management research projects in Senegal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Mexico, Ethiopia, South Africa, and the Netherlands and has published some 50 articles and book chapters on river basin management, water governance and institutional change, participatory groundwater management, and irrigation management transfer, including a well-received book on water management in Bangladesh. He is a founding member of the editorial board of Water Alternatives and Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Water International since March 2012, and regularly peer reviews articles for journals including Water International, Agricultural Water Management, Water Policy, Irrigation Science, Water Alternatives, Journal of Hydrology, ASCE Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, Geoforum, and Environmental Management among others.
Flip received his BSc and MSc (cum laude) in Tropical Land and Water Use from Wageningen University and a PhD in Environmental Sciences also from Wageningen University.