Wspólnotowy Serwis Informacyjny Badan i Rozwoju - CORDIS


NEGOWAT Streszczenie raportu

Project ID: ICA4-CT-2002-10061
Źródło dofinansowania: FP5-INCO 2
Kraj: France

Contribution to the theoritical discussion about implementation and evaluation of multi-stakeholders platform

A detailed evaluation of the potentials and limits of multi-stakeholders platforms has been undertaken, with specific reference to the technical roundtable facilitated by the Negowat team in Bolivia. The findings, out of the Bolivian case studies, are supported by results from the intervention processes in São Paulo.

Multi-stakeholder platforms (MSPs) have been widely promoted as a promising means of resolving environemental conflicts, first in developed countries and, more recently, as a global good practice. However, many MSPs have been implemented in an unfavourable context primarily of social inequities and large poweer asymetries betweens stakeholders and have not met initial high expectations. Social and economic inequalities are far greater in many developing countries that occidental countries, and this is sometimes disregarded when international cooperation agencies advise MSP-type decision-making.

The establishment of MSPs should not be driven and analyzed mainly as an ideal of perfect communication and social learning, but should be seen rather as a possibly useful process that will, nevertheless, always remain imperfect. Where the context was unfavourable, external intervention proved necessary to face the challenges of design and implementation.

In situations of large power assymetries other approaches have been designed, often refering to the the empowerment of the weaker groups in the negotiation. But in a facilitation process, actions such as supporting weaker stakeholder groups, or intervening in the relationship between a constituency and its representative, might be interpreted by MSP participants as conflicting with a facilitating role. This shows the needs to further study how to mix an MSP with some strategic actions based on power asymmetry analyses.

Strategic approaches tend to consider any agreement as a necesseraly instable arrangement, insist on their historical determination and the differences of interests between parties. Combining strategic approaches with MSP approach could include collective understanding both of the different interests and point of views of parties and historical development of the conflict. The Companion Modeling approach can be valuable for the first point while other theoritical framework such as the theory of Convention (Boltanski Luc 1991) or the sociology of translation (Callon 1986) can be interesting to analysis the historical development of conflicts (Beuret 2006).

A course has been organized in the San Simon University to teach the methodology and the experience obtained by the researchers on the issue. The course is formally recognized by the University, and may be repeated in the forthcoming years.

Centro AGUA is also partner of various projects on negotiation and will use the knowledge obtained on the issue during the Negowat project. For instance, Centro AGUA has been called to organize in 2006 and 2007 a multi stakeholder platform in Punata to tackle problems of groundwater over exploitation.

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