Co-creating Knowledge to Enhance Women’s Leadership for Inclusive River Governance and Livelihood Resilience in the Mekong Region
Knowledge Co-Creation

Project Webinar


SUMERNET Public Seminar on “Co-creating Knowledge to Enhance

Women’s Leadership for Inclusive River Governance and Livelihood

Resilience in the Mekong Region (CKEWL)”

Date/Time: 24 June 2022/ 1430 hrs. – 1615 hrs. (ICT) Access: Background

Access to enough quantity and suitable quality of water in the Mekong Region is a key factor in sustainable production, livelihoods, wellbeing, and the environment. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated unequal access to safe water, especially for vulnerable populations.

As part of ongoing effort to reduce water insecurity for all, in particular for the poor, marginalized and socially vulnerable groups of women and men in the Mekong Region, the Sustainable Mekong Research Network (SUMERNET) under SUMERNET 4 All programme (2018-2023) is supporting 21 multi-country collaborative research and joint action projects involving more than 100 researchers and other stakeholders to co-produce knowledge that is useful for the decision makers and public to consider for better policy and practices on addressing water insecurity in the region.

SUMERNET has been organizing the public seminar series to enable project teams to share their findings, recommendations, and lessons learned from research projects with network members and others widely.

SUMERNET Public Seminar on “Co-creating Knowledge to Enhance Women’s Leadership for Inclusive River Governance and Livelihood Resilience in the Mekong Region”

Climate change, the Covid-19 pandemic, and unstable political conditions have exacerbated existing gender inequalities and the vulnerability of women in recent years. There have been several accounts that have highlighted how women working in the informal sector have been disproportionately impacted by these socio-economic disruptions. These induced consequences have combined with existing threats (e.g., large-scale hydropower and infrastructure development, changes in land use), resulting in greater stress on already precarious livelihoods and fragile ecosystems. This has increased the burden on women as primary caregivers for the wellbeing of their households and wider community.

This research applies a knowledge co-creation approach to allow for community voices, particularly women’s voices, in Myanmar (Inlay Lake) and Thailand (Isan) can address key priorities increasing pressures on water due to the pandemic, climate change, and political disruption. The co-created knowledge supports an understanding of how the roles and responsibilities of rural women within their communities and livelihoods have been impacted and, with respect to water governance, what the implications of such changes might be for women’s capacity to access riverine resources and assume leadership in water decision-making. The project attempted to be a bridge between local, traditional knowledge and scientific, empirical knowledge. In doing so the team developed a framework for understanding the river and support community voices, in particular those of women, to be more


involved in knowledge creation and decision-making. This would result in improved outcomes for river governance at the local level.

The CKEWL project was executed by an all-women’s team, that included Karen Delfau from International Water Centre Alumni Network (IWCAN), Pichamon Yeophantong from University of New South Wales (Canberra) Australia / Thailand, Kanokwan Manorom from Mekong Sub-region Social Research Center (MSSRC), Ubon Ratchathani University, Thailand and Nang Shining from Mong Pan Youth Association (MPYA), Southern Shan State, Myanmar and Jureerat Saisud from Ubon Ratchathani University.



02:55pm – 03:10 pm

03:10pm – 03:25 pm


Sharing findings from Thailand: The Mekong Curriculum



Overall moderators: Ms. Sushmita Mandal (SUMERNET Research for Policy and Practice Coordinator) Technical supporters: Ms. Variya Plungwatana (Communications Assistant), Mr. Oungkham Oo (SUMERNET Fellow)


02:30 pm – 02:40pm

02:40pm – 02:55pm

Introduction Welcome remarks

Prof. Chantana Wungaeo, SUMERNET Steering Committee

Dr. Kanokwan Manorom, Associate Professor, Ubon Ratchathani University

Sharing findings from Myanmar: Inlay Lake Knowledge co creation

Ms. Nang Shining,
Director, Mong Pan Youth Association/Mae Nam Khone Institute

Ms. Karen Delfau,
Executive Director, International Water Centre Alumni Network

03:25pm – 03:40pm

03:40pm – 04:00pm

04:00pm – 04:10pm

Global research: Multiple ways and scales of knowing and creating knowledge

Reflections from SUMERNET Advisors

Breakout session

Reporting back

– Dr. Le Thi Van Hue, SUMERNET Gender Advisor
– Prof. Sudarat Tuntivivat, SUMERNET Conflict Sensitivity Advisor


To be moderated by the Research Team
Breakout room Leads

04:10pm – 04:15pm Concluding remarks Ms. Sushmita Mandal

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Kanokwan Manorom

Director of Mekong Sub-region Social Research Center, Faculty of Liberal Arts, Ubon Ratchathani University, Thailand. Kanokwan earned her Phd. In rural sociology from the University of Missouri-Columbia, USA. She has more than 20 years of experience in carrying out research in fields such as political economy and natural resource governance, gender and livelihoods analysis, development and impact assessment in the Northeast region of Thailand and the Mekong River basin. Extensive experience in using and


teaching sociological methodologies such participatory action research, participatory rural appraisal, farmer/community led research, gender analysis and field-based learning. She has collaborated and managed several international research programs and has extensive experience in managing projects and fellowship programs. She has fostered extensive network of academics, civil society organizations and government officers in Thailand and the Mekong region.

Nang Shining

Director of Mong Pan Youth Association/Mae Nam Khone Institute. Nang has a Master of Arts in International Development Studies from Chulalongkorn University, Thailand, a second master’s degree in the field of Sustainable Natural Resources Management from the University for Peace, Costa Rica and her third master’s degree in the field of Global Politics at Ateneo De Manila University, Philippines. She worked for four years at Earth Rights International’s Mekong School based in Chiang Mai, Thailand and served as the School Training Coordinator and Alumni

Program Coordinator. She is also co-founder of Weaving Bonds Across Borders based in Chiang Mai, Thailand. She is interested in the intersection of peace and conflict transformation, human rights, gender equality and environmental issues in the Mekong and Salween River basin countries.

Karen Delfau

PhD Candidate & Lecturer – Institute of Political Sciences, University of Toulouse, France Gender and Social Inclusion Specialist Consultant – Water Stewardship Asia-Pacific Executive Director – International Water Centre Alumni Network.

Karen’s work bridges research and practice to address water governance complexities, focusing on questions of gender equality, resilience, and knowledge co-creation. She brings 20 years’ applied knowledge addressing the intersection of water governance, water science, gender equality and social inclusion, and climate change resilience in Western Europe,

Australia, Southeast Asia, and the US/Mexico border. Karen holds University degrees and professional postgraduate certification in Geology, Public International Law, Integrated Water Management, and Nonprofit Leadership and Management. She is currently an independent consultant and a doctoral researcher and lecturer with the Institute of Political Sciences, University of Toulouse. Her transdisciplinary background provides the basis for analysis and assessment of systemic complexities, and the ability to undertake multi-criteria analysis to address trade-offs in human-environment challenges.

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Chantana Wungaeo

Dr. Chantana (Banpasirichote) Wungaeo has mixed training background, B.A in sociology, Ph.D in regional planning and has worked in the field of political science. She started her academic career as a researcher for 7 years at Social Research Institute and moved to the Faculty of Political Science to teach politics of development, qualitative research method, democracy, conflict resolutions, and social change, etc. She was part of the founding members of the M.A in International Development Studies at Chulalongkorn University. Dr. Chantana was also one of members of the expert committee setting up Peace and Conflict Studies Center at

Chulalongkorn in collaboration with the Rotary Foundation. The center has been conducting professional program for peace fellows from around the word since 2000. She retired in 2018 from the Faculty of Political Science.

Dr. Chantana is now Project Director of the Chula Second Century Fund on Creative Tourism Development Project, based at the Institute of Asian Studies, and still serve in the team of experts for Rotary Peace and Conflict Studies Center at Chula. She also serves as SUMERNET Steering Committee for the period of 2020 – 2023.

Le Thi Van Hue

Dr. Hue Le has joined SUMERNET as a Gender Equality Advisor. She currently is a senior researcher and lecturer from the VNU – Central Institute for Natural Resources and Environmental Studies (CRES), Vietnam National University, Hanoi. Her research focuses on natural resource management, land tenure, and gender. Her scholarship examines the differentiating effects of the macro policy and investigates how social differentiation and power relations affect the way in which different classes of people use the resources and the income that each class earns from forest-related resources.

Dr. Le received her MA in Urban and Environmental Policy at Tufts University and her PhD in Agriculture and Rural Development at the Institute of Social Studies, the Netherlands. Dr. Le has led and co-led numerous research and development projects funded by a range of different donors, including the GCRF, UKRI, ICCO, USAID, NSF, Ford Foundation, FAO, IDRC, and SIDA. Most recently she led a project, Gender Sensitive GIS Mapping of Livelihoods and Vulnerability of Thai Ethnic Minority Group to Land Dispossession in Northwest Vietnam funded by USAID. She has published extensively in international journals and her most recent book from Springer Press: ‘Competing for Land, Mangroves and Marine Resources in Coastal Vietnam’.

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Sudarat Tuntivivat

Dr. Sudarat Tuntivivat has joined SUMERNET as a Conflict Sensitivity Advisor. She is a full-time faculty member of Behavioral Science Research Institute at Srinakharinwirot University in Bangkok, Thailand where she researches and teaches master and doctoral level classes in positive psychology and conflict management.

Her interests include Peacebuilding, Environmental Sustainability, and Sustainable Development. She is a team leader and co-leader of various national and international projects including several collaborative studies. Her current project is Participatory Environmental Education for

Indigenous Youths in Thailand, Myanmar and Laos PDR which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. She is also consultant for UNESCO on the role of teachers in combatting school violence in multiple countries. Dr. Sudarat Tuntivivat is a professional fellow of US department of State and also a mid-career professional fellow for Asia Peace Innovator at the Salzburg Global Seminar.