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Harmonising collaborative planning


The purpose of this result was to provide a good overview and synthesis of experiences recorded in the nine national experience and background studies. The synthesis report identifies historical trends; common features and cultural differences regarding public participation in river basin management planning that exist across Europe. It is expected that the insights communicated within this report will be a useful aid for the case studies, and will provide important points to include within the guidance handbook of the HarmoniCOP project. It also provides a good overview, organising and highlighting key necessary conditions for social learning and provides important considerations for the implementation of the WFD. Applying such knowledge and experience is fundamental for identifying clearer paths towards integrated and participatory river basin management planning in the long term.
This document is the report of the HarmoniCOP project Work Package 3 (WP3) dedicated to Information and Communication tools (IC-tools) in river basin management (RBM). The HarmoniCOP project has been set up in the framework of the 5th European Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (Contract nr EVK1-CT-2002-00120). It aims to increase the understanding of participatory river basin management against the background of the European Water Framework Directive (WFD). Considering the interest as well as the limits of traditional PP, HarmoniCOP investigates a new form of PP which promotes the social process aspects and which is called Social Learning. SL refers here to the growing capacity of a multiple actors network (those concerned by the RB) to develop and perform collective actions related to RBM. RBM is considered as a social-relational activity (interests, water practices, information, knowledge, funds are spread over many actors) and a complex technical task, both cannot be separated. In this context, information and communication can play a crucial role to support the SL dimension of PP through two-ways communication processes. This report aims to complement the abundant literature on Information and Communication Technology and on PP methods by focusing more on the role of IC-tools as a facilitating mechanism to support the SL dimension of PP in relation to the WFD. Within HarmoniCOP, an IC-tool is defined as a material artefact, device or software, that can be seen and/or touched, and which facilitates interaction between stakeholders through two-way communication processes. An IC-tool can be computer-based or not. About twenty IC-tools have been identified based on a literature review and on our own experience. To categorize them, four main criteria have been identified as useful for those who will have to organize in practice the WFD PP process: communication direction (top-down, bottom-up, bi-directional), public size (small working group, general public), usage purpose (management of information and knowledge, elicitation of perspectives, interaction support and simulation) and phases in the PP process. A preliminary qualitative classification of the tools based on these 4 criteria is proposed as well as a synthetic index card for 13 of them. Three types of IC-tools are described in more detail through a short literature review and examples of application: maps and other spatial representations, simulations models (Decision Support Systems, Integrated Assessment Models, Qualitative Models and Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping) and Role Playing Games. The report also includes a framework of analysis to assess IC-tools from three perspectives (with a serie of criteria for each perspective) : the technical characteristics of the tools themselves and the usage situation, their relational and substantive impacts on PP and SL, their usability as perceived by the users (based on a tool acceptance model). This framework will be used in a number of empirical investigations to evaluate the tools used in historical and real-time case studies (WP5). It is embedded in a more general instrument co-developed with WP2 (Work-Package in charge of the SL concept) and called "Pool of Questions" presented in a separate document. The prime aim of this instrument is to provide the teams of HarmoniCOP WP5 with a serie of questions concerning Social Learning and IC-tools, as a common base upon which they can build their case studies, but it can also be used by other research teams or even practioners willing to assess the impact of IC-tools on RBM. This report presents the general structure of the Pool of Questions and a subset is given in Annex: the guidance for a charting procedure, the guidance to fill in the tool index card and a checklist of questions. The findings from the national studies and the historical or real-time case studies will allow to test and to validate the ideas and the hypothesis developed in the current report. These results will be integrated in a handbook on PP methodologies to promote SL in RBM (WP7). Concerning IC-tools, it will help the WFD practitioners to answer concrete questions such as: What are the relational and substantive functions of a tool? How should it be used? Which resources and skills are required? What is its applicability in the different phases of the PP process? When was it used and who might be contacted for additional information? This report on IC-tools is available for all at the HarmoniCOP website.
National stakeholder meetings associated with the WP5 national case studies attempted to fulfil the following key objectives: - To socialize the theoretical concepts and frameworks used by the research team in the case study; - To inform the persons and organisations directly or in some cases indirectly involved in the case study about the main findings of the researchers; - To analyse and discuss jointly among all participants the main learning conclusions that can be drawn from the studies; - To provide feedback regarding the frames, roles, and boundaries identified; - To contribute to the relevance and transfer of the social learning arising from the studies to enhance participatory processes associated with river basin management and in some case the implementation of the Water Framework Directive. National Stakeholder meetings have been conducted in the following catchments including the Ribble Basin, Elbe Basinn, Muga Basin, Meuse Basin, Demer Basin, Dordogne Basin and the Danube Basin. National stakeholder meeting reports were submitted for these on the 30th November. Reports for the Dee, Rhone and Dordogne Basins are currently outstanding although it should be noted that a meeting for the Dordogne has been scheduled for December 9th 2004.
This result consists of two parts: 1. a Social Learning (SL) Pool of Questions, and 2. a reference document on social learning and river basin management (RBM). The first part is a diagnostic instrument to assess SL and the use of IC-tools in ongoing RBM and planning. It is a shared result between WP2 and WP3 of HarmoniCOP. Social Learning refers here to the growing capacity of social entities to perform common tasks related with a river basin. It is both a process and an outcome. One has also to know the context in which it takes place and how the outcomes of social learning may affect this context. The mutual tuning by the actors between the social and the physical system is the essence of the process. In this IC-tools may play a major role. The "SL Pool of Questions" is build up in three layers: 1. a short checklist of general issues that have to be considered in relation to SL in RBM; 2. a short explanation of the assumptions underlying each of the questions presented under 1; 3. a series of concrete questions and research methods that can be used in practice of SL-assessment. The open generic nature of the instrument, its adaptive structure, and the accompanying explanations on assumptions and possible methodologies, make it a highly adaptive instrument, usefull in a high variety of cultural/political RBM contexts. The instrument in its current form intends in the first place to support the research teams of HarmoniCOP WP4 (national context studies) and WP5 (case studies). Based on these experiences it will be adapted and integrated in the Handbook on SL in RBM, that will be produced by HarmoniCOP. The most important scientific theories and empirical evidence, on which this instrument is based, are presented in a separate reference document.
This report is the inception report of the HarmoniCOP project. The project aims to increase the understanding of participatory river basin management against the background of the European Water Framework Directive. Its specific objectives are: - To prepare a Handbook on PP methodologies; - To provide insight into social learning in a multi-phase multi-level context; - To increase the understanding of the role of information and IC- tools (Information and Communication Technology) in PP; - To compare and assess national PP experiences and their backgrounds; - To involve governments and stakeholder groups. This inception report spells out our approach to PP and explores the main issues to be addressed in the project. The purpose of this is to facilitate feedback from the different governments and stakeholder groups in an early phase of the project and to improve our plans for research. The European Water Framework Directive (WFD) is the most important water directive of recent years. It requires Member States to manage their basins as a whole and reach a good water status for all their waters by 2015. The backbone of the WFD is a system of river basin management planning. Three times in the planning process the public has to be consulted. In addition, the Member States have to encourage the active involvement of all interested parties. To support the implementation of the PP provisions of the WFD a guidance document has been written under the responsibility of the European Commission and the Member States. However, more and different forms of PP may be needed. The most important effect of public participation is social learning. Social learning could be described as learning by groups to handle issues in which all group members have a stake such as the management of a river basin. HarmoniCOP will develop this notion further. A literature review will be made and methodological support will be offered to the teams that will conduct case studies in the HarmoniCOP project and to others. Information and IC- tools play a very important role in participatory river basin management. River basin management can only be truly participatory if the models and information tools that are used to support and legitimise the management are developed in a participatory fashion. Moreover, IC- tools can support participatory processes. IC- tools can help to disseminate information, obtain information for water management and support discussions. The present and future Member States of the EU have different histories, geographical and hydrological conditions, cultural backgrounds and levels of economic development. Consequently, they also have different PP traditions and preferences. Within the HarmoniCOP project the different national traditions and their backgrounds will be described and compared. This will facilitate cross-country learning and support the organisation of PP in trans-national basins. Case studies and experiments will play a central role in the HarmoniCOP project. On the one hand, they are a means to try out and test the ideas developed in the more theoretical work packages. On the other hand, they are also a means to promote in practice what we study: social learning in river basin management. The HarmoniCOP project will result in a Handbook on PP methodologies to promote social learning in river basin management in the context of the WFD. The Handbook will complement the existing Guidance Document on Public Participation. Already at this moment all potential users can express their needs and wishes and give comments and suggestion at the HarmoniCOP website . The inception report has been discussed in March 2003 at the international stakeholder meeting in Leuven with representatives from national ministries, the Environment Agency of England and Wales, an irrigation association, the Global Water Partnership, an environmental NGO, a Water Utility and a Farmers Association and is available for all at the HarmoniCOP website.
The purpose of the case studies is to gain first hand experience with PP in river basin management so as to examine how social processes and information tools are applied and used in practice. In addition the case studies provide an opportunity to test the ideas developed on effective PP so as to identify approaches that work and those that do not. In particular this will help to provide examples, which can be put forward as 'good European practices'. The initial tasks for the first year were to develop a typology of case studies, to organise appropriate national case studies and to contribute to the development of an evaluation template. Nine case studies have been agreed and will be conducted in: France, Hungary, UK, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands. There are 4 types of case study. : - Class 1 is a historical literature review - Class 2 is a historical review based on interviews - Class 3 is real time observation; and - Class 4 is real time participation. Case studies are currently underway and are being conducted using a common template developed in earlier stages of the project. Reports arising from each of the case studies described above were submitted on the 30th November 2004. These reports will be synthesised into a report on 'Good European Practice' and will be delivered in April 2005.
The overall goal of WP6 final report was to link the theoretical developments provided by an original analytical framework on social learning provided by the HarmoniCOP project with the empirical material obtained from the case studies. The aim being at gaining a set of relevant insights which could be relevant both for science and for policy (and not only for science or for policy). The structure of the report is as follows: - An analysis of the meaning, insights and relevance of the approach of social learning in RBMP as provided by the HarmoniCOP project: The goal was to assess how PP processes involved in RBMP can contribute to social learning and how the social learning perspective can contribute to a better framing and understanding of PP processes within the WFD. In that report, the notion of social learning was understood from a broad macrosocial perspective, that is, considering the interplay of multi-level social institutions examining not only the local scales, but also taking into account social learning processes occurring at society at large both within and between social networks of action. - A synthetic review of European case studies: aimed at linking the theoretical framework of social learning with the empirical experiences gathered both in the national case studies and at a river basin scale. In this regard, the role of Information and Communication Tools are analysed with some detail. This section provides an examination of the main mechanisms, which foster or constrain social learning within RBMP. - An assessment of the HarmoniCOP results and its contribution to scientific theory, methodological innovation and policy integration: from the analysis of the theoretical contribution and from the lessons learnt from the case studies, that section analysed in a relational way to which extent the HarmoniCOP project has contributed to a better understanding of to the theory and methodological innovation within the field of social learning, and to the science for policy to support the implementation of the WFD.. - Key issues on PP, social learning and sustainability: A further theoretical analysis is provided with regard to the following aspects: -- The role of culture and of the different cultures of participation in the social learning processes, and which concern the implementation of the WFD at RB scale; -- An analysis of the possibilities and constraints of institutionalising new forms of polycentric learning for integrated RBMP; and -- An examination of the actual contents of social learning in the integrated management of water resources, and in particular by looking at whether what is learnt can be assessed upon sustainability criteria, hence as to be considered as a truly sustainability learning development. - Conclusion: It argued that some of the most important constraint to social learning, and the potential to overcome such constraint lays in unveiling and questioning the cultural conceptualisation of information, knowledge and natural systems, which affect the current assessment and management processes within environmental policy. This is a structural constraint, which depends on the existing public education systems, although it can be influenced at river basin scale. WP6 report tried to illustrate and examine the state of the art of the approach of social learning in RBMP and to provide some new directions for future research within this field. The notion of sustainability learning was used as an heuristic yardstick to assess to which extent the processes stimulated by the implementation of the WFD are provoking changes not only on the quality of the natural systems but also on the social and economic organisation upon the sustainability of such natural resources depends on. In short, the report contains a large number of concrete results of scientific and policy-oriented nature. A recurrent issue when dealing with PP processes in natural resource management is that of costs. However, further research should be carried out to reframe the issue of PP as a public investment, as adequate public intervention can save large sums of financial and human resources derived from ill-defined assessments and wrong management steaming from lack of transparency or lack of plural knowledge integration. More specifically, the report argues that social learning depends on developing strategies for investment in public education. If that is the case, then, the principle of cost recovery of investments in water treatment facilities, which is contained in the WFD, can be or should also be extended to the cost recovery of investment in PP and education, albeit with its own criteria, time frames and quantification of cost and benefits. Such results are expected to frame both ongoing EU research projects and also support actions on several EU river basin management plans.
The purpose of this workpackage is to provide an overview of existing public participation (PP) knowledge and experience in the different countries involved within the HarmoniCOP programme, and to explore, where possible, their effects. In order to establish such a foundation of knowledge for each country the research needs to be both contextual and historical. Consequently the contents of WP4 explore specific influencing factors including institutional, legal, cultural, geographical and physical factors. This ultimately enables the individual countries to evaluate lessons learnt and develop practical criteria for evaluating participatory river basin management planning. The final result has been the production of nine national reports for each respective country participating in the HarmoniCOP research project. The findings of the reports can feed directly to the development of the HarmoniCOP handbook. The information can also be used to inform the specific the individual national case studies.
The objective of the established website is to disseminate information about the project to non-project members. The internal web-area contains a password secured platform for project members and stakeholders directly involved in the project to store and exchange information easily accessible. A webforum is also available as one typical ICT tool to generate a dialogue among project members and the public. Unfortunately, this offer is hardly used. In contrary to the forum the website itself and the internal platform can be considered a success. The website received about 1500 hits in 6 months and the platform is frequently used for up- and downloading of documents. The website raised the attraction of scientists and practitioners involved in issues of integrated water management. The possibility of contacting different scientific institutions in Europe dealing with the implementation of the European Water Framework Directive is used.
The HarmoniCOP project has been set up in the framework of the 5th European Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (Contract nr EVK1-CT-2002-00120). It aims to increase the understanding of participatory river basin management against the background of the European Water Framework Directive (WFD). This document is one report of the HarmoniCOP project Work Package 5 (WP5) dedicated to the examination of social learning in a river basin management context across 11 European case studies. The key objectives of the research for WP5 were: to gain first-hand experience with PP in river basin management so as to examine how social processes and IC tools and models are applied and used in practice at the river basin level; and to study the issues identified in HarmoniCOP work packages 1-4 and test the ideas developed about effective PP, so as to identify approaches that work and those that do not, highlighting those which can be put forward as Good European Practices. The main elements of the methodology used in this research were: a selection of case-studies with a wide range of historical, geographical and institutional backgrounds to provide an analysis applicable to a wide range of conditions; use of a common analytical approach based on a pool of questions developed from the earlier work-packages of the HarmoniCOP project, and use of common template to report the results development of a cross-case-study analytical template which bought together all the findings about the barriers to social learning and the mechanisms which supported social learning from the case-studies so that commonalities and differences could be highlighted. The research conclusions were associated with: the importance of context; the need to build teams to build resilience and capacity around key people/facilitators/leaders; facilitate a beneficial attitude through positive interactions and avoid overly lengthy procedures; Learn from crisis and see it as an opportunity to better prepare for the next one: have a strategy for communication when dealing with stakeholders: involve key stakeholders in bottom up planning to improve water resource plans: allow time and resources for participatory processes, particularly in early stages: investigate the use of IC Tools and apply in a transparent way that is meaningful for the stakeholders.
The HarmoniCOP project results in a Handbook on PP methodologies to promote social learning in river basin management in the context of the WFD. The Handbook will complement the existing Guidance Document on Public Participation. It is named "Learning together to manage together - Improving Participation in Water Management". A questionnaire was designed for the water managers involved in the 9 case studies. It was forwarded to WP5 members who filled it in with the persons in question of their respective case studies. The analysis and evaluation of results served as basis for the WP7 meeting in May 2004 at Maastricht. There, the chosen methodology for completing the handbook the storyboarding was further developed. The result was a first handbook structure. Another questionnaire was designed to collect feedback (concerning the first structure and contents of the handbook) mainly from HarmoniCOP stakeholders but also from other potential readers. There have been lots of concrete suggestions, which show the interest of the stakeholders in the handbook and their willingness to contribute. In September 2004, a stakeholder meeting took place at Leuven. One aim of the workshop was to exchange practical experience, especially to learn from the stakeholders, which problems occur in their daily work and what should be addressed in the handbook. The second day of the meeting, without the stakeholders, was mainly devoted to a discussion of the detailed contents of the handbook. Aim was a common understanding of the concepts and chapter goals that resulted from the Maastricht workshop. A final decision on the handbook structure could also be reached. At the end of the meeting, the writing tasks for the first draft of the handbook were distributed. Two workshops in 2005 finalised the draft versions of the handbook. A last workshop devoted one day to gather stakeholder feedback on the final draft. After collecting the required corrections of co-authors, the three main editors met for a final editing meeting. The handbook development therefore followed an iterative and participatory process to finish the handbook. The adoption of principles, ideas and issues described in the handbook by the user community will eventually lead to an improved implementation of the WFD and an improved integrated water management. Experiences with participation made in the water sector will influence the management style of other sectors too. Although specifically designed for water management, the handbook will not only influence other sectors with its contents (e.g. environmental policy in general) but also other handbook makers by its sophisticated participatory design approach.
On 10 and 11 March 2003, a stakeholder meeting was organised in Leuven to involve stakeholders. It combined a general project meeting with Work Package team meetings for WP 2, 3, 4 and 5. The purpose of the general project meetings was as follows: - To give the stakeholders the opportunity to get in-depth insight in the HarmoniCOP project: origins, objectives and internal logic, collaborating institutes and experts, main questions and expected deliverables - To “tune” and clarify expectations between the project team and the stakeholders group - To get feedback on and contributions to the actual project functioning and the inception report - To apply social learning mechanisms and practise social learning between project experts and stakeholders The report summarises the discussions during the stakeholder meetings. Attention is paid to the tuning of expectations, the discussion on the different WPs, the evaluation of the first day, the fieldtrip to the Dijle catchments, the appreciative inquiry exercise, and the general evaluation and suggestions of the project participants. The purpose of the report is to provide a record of the discussions and provide feedback to the stakeholders.

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