Gauri attended a short course on Water Conflict Management at UNESCO-IHE in Delft, the Netherlands and learnt the following: mediation, negotiation and arbitration: theory and practical exercises, coalition building, multiparty dispute resolution; ADR (alternate dispute resolution) spectrum; designing of mediation and conflict resolution processes; key theories and concepts of water conflict and cooperation; political ecology; and conflict mapping and analysis: system analysis, decision making and implementation. Further she also learnt self-training and new techniques of research and analysis through mock exercises and assignments. And last but not least she got a much-needed chance to acquire teamwork skills.
Regarding her research project on Geopolitical Conflicts in the Teesta River Basin up till now she has done the literature review and a backpacking journey of a month along the Teesta river from its confluence with Brahmaputra at Chilmari in Bangladesh to its source at Tso Lamo in Sikkim, India. This journey gave her the opportunity to meet and interact with local communities, NGO activists, civil servants, students, businessmen, artists, professors, journalists etc. throughout the journey. Moreover on a personal level the journey was a live-changing experience for her.
During 2017 she continues with the research project. She intends to carry out detailed analysis of the primary data collected during the trip along with secondary data which she already did collect earlier on and she intends to obtain from newly made contacts. She will also conduct interviews and try to gain opinions of experts. The final result will be a paper with detailed analysis of the conflicts in the Teesta basin, the scenario in the immediate future, some policy pointers, and the impact of the happenings in the Teesta basin in the larger geopolitical context of the Brahmaputra basin.
Gauri’s chief goal for participating in JWHI is to acquire, develop and assimilate four key leadership skills – formal and informal communication, diverse networking, personal and project organisation, and negotiation.