Providing access to quality water and sanitation for all, while ensuring the sustainable management of water resources, is a considerable challenge for public and private service operators, especially in developing countries. The AgroParisTech SUEZ-Eau pour Tous Chair, created in 2008, is a unique training and research centre that has already trained nearly 300 managers and executives of water and sanitation services in developing countries. It is a manifestation of SUEZ and AgroParisTech’s commitment to contribute to strengthening the skills of the managers and executives who run these services and thus participate in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals set by the UN.
As the pace of urbanisation and climate change continues to accelerate, AgroParisTech, SUEZ, the Fondation SUEZ and AFD are maintaining their partnership to build a world-class centre to provide training in strategic management of water and sanitation utilities, aimed at senior executives and general management teams, senior managers who are about to take up these positions and operational or functional managers in management roles. A new academic partnership with ESSEC – a leading management training institution in Europe – with the goal of supporting and influencing ecological and social transition in our societies through training and research, will contribute to enriching the results- and service-oriented education initiative on strategic and project management.
A Chair within the AgroParisTech Water Centre
Firmly rooted in Montpellier’s university research ecosystem, this centre is supported by a regional university dynamic. AgroParisTech is a member of the Montpellier Institute for Water and the Environment, the International Centre for Interdisciplinary Research into the dynamics of water systems under the auspices of UNESCO, and a supporter of the KIM WATERS initiative at the Montpellier University of Excellence (MUSE) i-Site. Montpellier is also home to the France Water Team competitiveness cluster, and is strengthening its links with professionals in the water sector. The Chair is at the heart of this centre of excellence.
The Chair’s training courses may be introduced on a remote learning basis starting in 2021, consolidating its actions abroad in order to strengthen its international influence. The Chair offers:
- training on the various different functions of a water and sanitation utility, its overall challenges (infrastructure operation, customer management, human resources management, asset management, cost control, finance, etc.), to enable managers to make diagnoses, set medium- and long-term targets, construct related action plans and manage them;
- training on general management issues: strategic management and planning, scoping and coordination of action plans by function, institutional relations, relations with stakeholders;
- training on project management: scoping, operational diagnosis, design of an action plan, management, approval, methodologies and tools, problem solving;
- international training courses for water stakeholders in situ (particularly in Africa and Asia).
The “Water for All” International Executive Master OpT course offered by the Chair and supported by AgroParisTech is accredited by the Conférence des Grandes Écoles and registered in the Répertoire National des Certifications Professionnelles directory.
The Agence de l’Eau Rhône Méditerranée Corse, a public institution of the French Ministry of the Environment dedicated to the preservation of water in France, partners with the Chair by financing educational grants as part of its international intervention policy for access to water and sanitation.
The Chair promotes training in the Global South, for the improved transfer of know-how to international management schools or African or Asian centres of excellence, in higher education and research, in order to establish a strategy of decentralised training and building the capacity of partner training organisations in the Global South.
A forum for operational staff and researchers
The Chair supports research programmes aimed at promoting access to drinking water and sanitation through the improvement of service management, in particular through the analysis of economic, political, institutional and managerial conditions, and through the analysis of the governance framework. Research initiatives are drawn up in response to proposals from the Scientific Council, whose members are well-known figures in the research field. The Chair aims to promote the advancement and sharing of knowledge by acting as a forum for water and sanitation managers and researchers. Every two years, it organises scientific meetings for an international audience.
Bertrand Camus, Chief Executive Officer of the SUEZ Group and Foundation Chairman: “SUEZ and the Fondation SUEZ are proud to renew their commitment to the AgroParisTech Suez-Water for All Chair. Our services are essential for quality of life, health and economic development. Education in the water and sanitation sector is of vital importance if we are to shart shaping a sustainable environment – a process which starts now. The Chair will provide a means of sharing and strengthening skills for services in developing countries, with quality training and international scope.”
Gilles Trystram, AgroParisTech Chief Executive Officer: “The worldwide issue of water, its distribution and associated services is a key one, and AgroParisTech is proud to be continuing the training activities that have been underway for several years now on an international scale. The partnership with ESSEC, SUEZ and AFD is dynamic, is based on a very open framework, and combines complementary skills. The AgroParisTech SUEZ-Water for All Chair has achieved a certain worldwide profile, and it is our goal to develop it further as well as to spread the advances obtained via this Chair to the other AgroParisTech training courses in the water sector.”
Rémy Rioux, Agence Française de Développement Chief Executive Officer: “I am delighted that AFD is continuing to support the 6th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on access to clean water and sanitation – an area in which it invests over a billion euros a year for the benefit of several million people, particularly in Africa – within the framework of a partnership with AgroParisTech, SUEZ, and the Fondation SUEZ. This collaboration will allow stakeholders in this sector to train in a Chair with an extensive range of educational offerings, in a field that ties together numerous SDGs relating to access to quality education, sustainable towns and communities or gender equality. This investment in human capital is an essential part of ensuring the performance and sustainability of the funding we provide to water and sanitation management.”
Vincenzo Vinzi, ESSEC Business School General Director: “At a time when environmental crises are humanity’s number one challenge, sustainable access to the fundamental resource of water is an issue we urgently need to address. This partnership between ESSEC, AgroParisTech, SUEZ, the Fondation SUEZ and Agence Française de Développement is proof of the collective desire to initiate a profound change to support and influence the ecological and social transition of our societies through training and research, by implementing an ambitious strategy that takes account of the diverse nature of stakeholders and geographical areas.”
Laurent Roy, General Director of the Rhône Méditerranée Corse Water Agency: "The 6 water agencies contribute, within the framework of the OUDIN-SANTINI law, to the financing of decentralized cooperation programs dealing with access to water, sanitation and hygiene, drawn up by the local authorities of their basin. In countries where decentralized cooperation programs are being developed, strengthening the skills of water technicians and engineers, as proposed by the AgroParisTech SUEZ Chair, offers the opportunity to develop the sustainable management of water services and resources. In the face of climate change, adaptation strategies must be proposed by water managers, in particular the management of equipment assets, the fight against leaks, and the sanitation and reuse of treated wastewater as alternative resources to be developed.”
The Chair since its creation (2009 to 2020)
- 13 cohorts of the MS OpT - International Executive Master "Water for All" (7 French and 6 English speaking);
- 243 students trained in the International Executive Master for the title of "Manager of Urban Water and Sanitation Services" from 55 countries on 4 continents;
- More than 100 water and sanitation companies and institutions from Asia and Africa renew the registration of their managers in the International Executive Master;
- More than 50 lecturers, professionals from the water and sanitation sectors, and some 30 coaches per class, including some 20 SUEZ employees;
- 48 General Managers from 20 countries in Africa and Asia trained in Strategic Management
Isabelle Herrier Naufle | + 33 (0)6 83 54 89 62
Elodie Vandevoorde | +33 (0)6 78 36 19 52