Stakeholder Engagement for Inclusive Water Governance

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This report assesses the current trends, drivers, obstacles, mechanisms, impacts, costs and benefits of stakeholder engagement in the water sector. It builds on empirical data collected through an extensive survey across 215 stakeholders, within and outside the water sector, and 69 case studies collected worldwide. It highlights the increasing importance of stakeholder engagement in the water sector as a principle of good governance and the need for better understanding of the pressing and emerging issues related to stakeholder engagement. These include: the shift of power across stakeholders; the arrival of new entrants that ought to be considered; the external and internal drivers that have triggered engagement processes; innovative tools that have emerged to manage the interface between multiple players, and types of costs and benefits incurred by engagement at policy and project levels. This report provides pragmatic policy guidance to decision makers and practitioners in the form of key principles and a Checklist for Public Action with indicators, international references and self-assessment questions, which together can help policy makers to set up the appropriate framework conditions needed to yield the short and long-term benefits of stakeholder engagement.



Foreword and acknowledgements

The world is facing critical water challenges: how to manage too little, too much and too polluted water, both today and in the future. These challenges stem partly from the failure of climate-change adaptation, the increase in the world’s population, and intensified competition among cities, farmers, industries, energy suppliers and ecosystems. Water crises can have devastating effects on food security, poverty alleviation, economic development and social stability. Decision makers will be forced to make tough choices about how to manage water for inclusive economic growth and environmental stability. Better engaging stakeholders both within and outside the water sector can help ensure that these choices are the right ones, and are implemented effectively.


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