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Planning in Democratizing River Basins: The Case for a Co-Productive Model of Decision Making

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CSIRO Land and Water, GPO Box 1700, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia
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AMPERES, 38A Nguyen Thi Dieu, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City 700000, Viet Nam
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Water and Energy Commission Secretariat, Singha Durbar, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
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Unit for Social and Environmental Research, Faculty of Social Sciences, Chiang Mai University, 239 Huaykaew Rd, Suthep, Mueang, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
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Institute for Studies and Development Worldwide (IFSD), 8/45 Henley Rd, Homebush West, NSW 2140, Australia
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CSIRO Land and Water, Private Bag 12, Hobart, TAS 7001, Australia
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(12), 2480; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11122480
Received: 28 October 2019 / Revised: 20 November 2019 / Accepted: 21 November 2019 / Published: 25 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Managing Water Resources in Large River Basins)
We reflect on methodologies to support integrated river basin planning for the Ayeyarwady Basin in Myanmar, and the Kamala Basin in Nepal, to which we contributed from 2017 to 2019. The principles of Integrated Water Resources Management have been promoted across states and regions with markedly different biophysical and political economic conditions. IWRM-based river basin planning is complex, resource intensive, and aspirational. It deserves scrutiny to improve process and outcome legitimacy. We focus on the value of co-production and deliberation in IWRM. Among our findings: (i) multi-stakeholder participation can be complicated by competition between actors for resources and legitimacy; (ii) despite such challenges, multi-stakeholder deliberative approaches can empower actors and can be an effective means for co-producing knowledge; (iii) tensions between (rational choice and co-productive) models of decision complicate participatory deliberative planning. Our experience suggests that a commitment to co-productive decision-making fosters socially legitimate IWRM outcomes. View Full-Text
Keywords: co-production; development assistance; hydrological modelling; irrigation; IWRM; rational choice; stakeholder participation; scenario analysis; water governance co-production; development assistance; hydrological modelling; irrigation; IWRM; rational choice; stakeholder participation; scenario analysis; water governance
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Foran, T.; Penton, D.J.; Ketelsen, T.; Barbour, E.J.; Grigg, N.; Shrestha, M.; Lebel, L.; Ojha, H.; Almeida, A.; Lazarow, N. Planning in Democratizing River Basins: The Case for a Co-Productive Model of Decision Making. Water 2019, 11, 2480.

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