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The International Water Association Leadership Programme for Young Water Professionals

The International Water Association is pleased to announce the launch of IWA LeaPIWA’s Leadership Programme for Young Water Professionals. This programme will mobilise a cohort of 12 high-potential young water professionals, drawn from diverse regions, genders, and areas of the water sector, to rise to the leadership challenge.

The 12-month programme will provide a strong foundation for building professional networks within the global water community. IWA LeaP will offer unique opportunities for participants to deep-dive into their leadership potential and elevate their ability to effect change. Challenging, rewarding and experiential, this will be a learning rather than a teaching programme. The journey will significantly change the clarity, confidence, shared vision and strategic capability of each participant, and enhance their capacity to lead within their organisations and communities. 

Selected candidates are expected to commit an average of 10 hours per month to the programme activities. In addition, IWA LeaP will include an immersive 4-day retreat in a remote setting to allow individuals to reflect as leaders as well as discuss a collaborative project that will be later shared at the end of the programme. Finally, participants will be invited to attend the IWA 2026 World Water Congress & Exhibition (WWCE) in Glasgow, Scotland.

IWA LeaP Leadership Programme Application

The application period will be open until 28 June 2024. Applications will be accepted in English.

After completing this readiness questionnaire, candidates must fill out this online form, send the necessary documents, and accept the terms of the selection process. It is recommended that the candidates provide as much detail as possible to support their application. Candidates must provide:

  • Curriculum Vitae (maximum 2 pages);
  • Motivation letter (maximum 1 page);
  • Reference letter from the candidate’s organisation (maximum 1 page);

All documents must be in English. For more information, read the FAQ.

The applications will be reviewed by the IWA Secretariat, which will conduct a preliminary assessment. Subsequently, shortlisted candidates will undergo interviews with the IWA LeaP Committee. Interviews will run from July to August 2024 and the selected candidates will be notified by the beginning of August 2024 and officially announced at the IWA WWCE in August 2024.


To be eligible for consideration, applicants must meet the following criteria: 

 Age requirement: The programme is for those between 18 and 35 years old. Applicants must be at least 18 at the time of application, and no older than 35 at the conclusion of the programme (September 2025).
• Proficiency in English: Applicants should possess a proficient working knowledge of the English language.
• Active IWA membership: Candidates must have maintained active membership of IWA for at least one year at the time of application. Membership status will be verified by the IWA Secretariat.
• Demonstrated leadership: Applicants must showcase their leadership capacity through various avenues such as professional achievements, experiences in leadership roles within the IWA or their organisation, volunteering experiences, etc.
• Commitment to positive change: Candidates should demonstrate a strong commitment to driving positive change within the water sector. This commitment should be substantiated by a track record of generating impactful and innovative ideas in the field.


The Programme will cover travel expenses for the selected candidates to participate in the immersive retreat and to attend the 2026 IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition, in Glasgow, Scotland, including: 

  • Economy class flights; 
  • Single occupancy accommodation; 
  • Daily subsistence; 
  • Ground transportation to and from the airport and to and from the venue; 
  • Travel insurance; 
  • Visa application fees. 

The selected candidates will be responsible for applying for their visa(s) in their countries. IWA cannot guarantee any candidate that their visa application will be successful.

More details will be provided to relevant applicants during the selection process.

To submit your application, click here.

For more information: Visit the website for The International Water Association Leadership Programme for Young Water Professionals


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