Stakeholder Engagement for Inclusive Water Governance: "Practicing what we preach" with the OECD Water Governance Initiative

Paper discussed at STRIPE III workhop, June 2016 

A cursory glance at the literature on water governance reveals that stakeholder engagement has long been considered an integral part of sound governance processes. However, a closer look at the literature reveals that, beyond this general assertion, there is a lack of evidence-based assessment on how engagement processes contribute to water governance objectives. This article addresses this research gap by presenting key findings and policy guidance from a study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on “Stakeholder Engagement for Inclusive Water Governance”. This study employed comprehensive methods, including a survey administered to 215 stakeholder groups worldwide and separately, 69 case studies of specific stakeholder engagement initiatives on water management. This article also shares the experiences and lessons that have emerged from engaging stakeholders in the OECDWater Governance Initiative—an international multi-stakeholder policy forum created in 2013 to share policy and practical experiences on water governance at different levels. We hope this research will be used to stimulate and enrich discussions about the necessary conditions for results-oriented stakeholder engagement, and to guide decision makers accordingly.

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