From implementation towards maintenance: sustaining collaborative initiatives for integrated floodplain management in the Netherlands


Collaborative governance has been introduced in the planning and implementation phases of river management, but has not yet reached the maintenance phase. In anticipation of this, this article explores how stakeholders shape collaborative initiatives aimed at maintaining multifunctional floodplains by analyzing their framing of collaboration objectives and membership structures. The case study shows that participants envisioned a shared governance structure, while no consensus was attained on the underlying collaborative objectives. Moreover, the envisioned structure revealed a tendency towards separation instead of integration, because participants abandoned the idea of public–private collaboration, which had previously been adopted in the planning and implementation phases.

Distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY).

Overview of the governance structure as described by the task force; it includes a Waal Board (public–public collaboration) and stewardships (private–private collaboration). The thick line symbolizes the river. Source: Figure 2 from Fliervoet et al (2016;



Journal publication

Fliervoet, J. M., & van den Born, R. J. G. (2017). From implementation towards maintenance: sustaining collaborative initiatives for integrated floodplain management in the Netherlands. International Journal of Water Resources Development, 33(4), 570–590.

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Replication dataset

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Related publications

  • Fliervoet, J. M., Van den Born, R. J. G., Smits, A. J. M., & Knippenberg, L. (2013). Combining safety and nature: A multi-stakeholder perspective on integrated floodplain management. Journal of Environmental Management, 128, 1033–1042.
  • Warner, J. F., Fliervoet, J. M., & Smits, A. J. M. (2016). Towards a Joint Maintenance Approach for floodplain management in the Netherlands: tensions and possibilities. In The Challenges of Collaboration in Environmental Governance (pp. 290–314). Edward Elgar Publishing Limited.


Search categories

Management goals: Coordination & cooperation | Stakeholder participation |

Management phase: Evaluation & Adjustment |

Data-collection methods: Focus groups |

Study areas: Waal river (NL) |

Related outputs

A stakeholder’s evaluation of collaborative processes for maintaining multi-functional floodplains: a Dutch case study

30/01/2017 by Jan Fliervoet et al.

Contains: Journal publication

View output

Analyzing Collaborative Governance Through Social Network Analysis: A Case Study of River Management Along the Waal River in The Netherlands

01/09/2015 by Jan Fliervoet et al.

Contains: Data repository upon request Journal publication

View output

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Last modified: 24/06/2018


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Jan Fliervoet

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