Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS

Handbook on public participation methodologies for the implementation of the water framework directive

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.

Informations connexes

Reported by

University of Osnabrueck, Institute of Environmental Systems Research
Barbarastr. 12
49076 Osnabrueck
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