Competence formation and post-graduate education in the public water sector in Indonesia
The water sector is dependent on effective institutions and organisations, and, therefore, on strong competences at the individual level. In this paper we describe competence formation and competence needs in a case study of the Directorate General of Water Resources (DGWR) in the Ministry of Public Works in Indonesia. A framework is introduced for the water sector comprising three aggregate competences for technical issues, management, and governance, and a meta-competence for continuous learning and innovation. The four competences are further organised in a T-shaped competence profile. Though DGWR professionals have a firmly "technical" orientation, both surveys and interviews reveal a strong perceived requirement for other competences: in particular the learning meta-competence, as well as the aggregate competence for management. The aggregate competence for governance systematically scores lower. Further, a discrepancy appears to exist between the competences that staff perceive as needed in daily work, and those that can be acquired during post-graduate water education.
In both locally-based and international post-graduate water education, the aggregate competences for management as well as governance are reportedly addressed modestly, if at all. With low competence in these fields, it is difficult for professionals to communicate and collaborate effectively in a multidisciplinary way. As a result, the horizontal bar of the T-shaped profile remains weakly developed. In international post-graduate education, this is partially compensated by the attention to continuous learning and innovation. The exposure to a different culture and learning format is experienced as fundamentally formative.