Understanding actor perspectives regarding challenges for integrated river basin management


Integrated river basin management increases technical as well as management and governance complexity. In this multidisciplinary setting, actors, from their different backgrounds, frame both issues and solutions differently. To resolve conflicts, it is important to recognize – and to not ignore – the existence of contending social framings. A better understanding is needed of how actors frame issues and solutions in integrated river basin management. To gain this better understanding, semistructured interviews were conducted with Dutch river basin management actors following Sensemaking methodology. Three challenges were identified where respondents framed both the issue and solution differently: (1) creating flexibility in a controlled river system; (2) sustaining the integrated approach in the maintenance of floodplains; and (3) formulating future river basin management policies to adapt to climate change. Cultural Theory was subsequently used to analyse how respondents construct perspectives towards these challenges. The analysis showed how actors use different rationalities in constructing these perspectives. As an implication, it is important for actors to recognize and acknowledge these perspectives in integrated river basin management decision-making. New tools, embedded in learning environments, are needed to facilitate exchanging and understanding actors’ perspectives.

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Journal publication

den Haan, R. J., Fliervoet, J. M., van der Voort, M. C., Cortes Arevalo, V. J., & Hulscher, S. J. M. H. (2018). Understanding actor perspectives regarding challenges for integrated river basin management. International Journal of River Basin Management, 1–14. https://doi.org/10.1080/15715124.2018.1503186

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Management phase: Evaluation & Adjustment |

Management goals: Maintenance Efficiency | Stakeholder participation |

Data-collection methods: Interviews |

Last modified: 14/08/2018


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Robert-Jan den Haan

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