Next Article in Journal
Hydrological Behavior of Peat- and Coir-Based Substrates and Their Effect on Begonia Growth
Next Article in Special Issue
Informal Settlements and Flooding: Identifying Strengths and Weaknesses in Local Governance for Water Management
Previous Article in Journal
Climate Trends Impact on the Snowfall Regime in Mediterranean Mountain Areas: Future Scenario Assessment in Sierra Nevada (Spain)
Previous Article in Special Issue
Shifting the Framework of Canadian Water Governance through Indigenous Research Methods: Acknowledging the Past with an Eye on the Future
Article Menu
Issue 6 (June) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Water 2018, 10(6), 721;

Problemshed or Watershed? Participatory Modeling towards IWRM in North Ghana

CIRAD, UPR GREEN, 34398 Montpellier, France
GREEN, CIRAD, Univ Montpellier, 34398 Montpellier, France
UMR G-EAU, IRD, University of Montpellier, 34196 Montpellier, France
Water Resources Management Group, Wageningen University, 6700-PB Wageningen, The Netherlands
White Volta Basin Board, Water Resources Commission, PO Box 489, Bolgatanga, Ghana
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 April 2018 / Revised: 18 May 2018 / Accepted: 29 May 2018 / Published: 2 June 2018
Full-Text   |   PDF [6698 KB, uploaded 2 June 2018]   |  


This paper is a reflexive analysis of a three-year participatory water research project conducted in the Upper East Region (UER) of Ghana, whose explicit objective was to initiate a multi-level dialogue to support the national Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) policy framework. The transdisciplinary team adopted the Companion Modeling approach (ComMod), using role-playing games and a computerized agent-based model to support the identification of a problemshed centered on issues of river bank cultivation, erosion, and flooding, and initiate a multi-level dialogue on ways that this problemshed could be tackled. On the basis of this experience, we identify three key criteria for transdisciplinary research to support innovative water governance: (1) the iterative adaptation of tools and facilitation techniques based on feedback from participants; (2) a common understanding of the objectives pursued and the approach used among researchers, who need to explicit their posture, and crucially; (3) the co-identification of a problemshed that diverse stakeholders are interested in tackling. Finally, we argue that the context in which research is funded and conducted in the development sector constitutes a challenge for researchers to be “participants like any other” in the projects they coordinate, which constitutes a barrier to true transdisciplinarity. View Full-Text
Keywords: water resources; companion modeling; role-playing game; agent-based model; Sub-Saharan Africa water resources; companion modeling; role-playing game; agent-based model; Sub-Saharan Africa

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Daré, W.; Venot, J.-P.; Le Page, C.; Aduna, A. Problemshed or Watershed? Participatory Modeling towards IWRM in North Ghana. Water 2018, 10, 721.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Water EISSN 2073-4441 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top