6th meeting of the OECD Water Governance Initiative
Organized by IRSTEA G-EAU/Cooplaage group
Date and place: November 3rd , 2015-OECD Headquarters, Paris
Context: 6th meeting of the OECD Water Governance Initiative (The OECD Water Governance Initiative is a multi-stakeholder network of 100+ delegates from public, private and non-profit sectors gathering twice a year in a Policy Forum to share on-going reforms, projects, lessons and good practices in support of better governance in the water sector. Launched on 27-28 March 2013, it is coordinated by a multi-stakeholder steering committee)
Objectives of the workshop:
- Engage delegates in a series of practical exercises on water governance to dig deeper into the role of stakeholders in water management and policies at different scales;
- Explore new water governance regimes through modelling and simulation;
- Discover a range of techniques based on the Wat-A-Game toolkit and the CoOPLAaGE set (CoOPLAaGE -Coupling innovative tools for sharing change in socio-environmental systems- is an innovative participation strategy and toolbox from IRSTEA, designed to support all stakeholders’ groups, from citizens to policy makers, in discussing and engaging really into change strategies in socio environmental systems).
Number of participants: 44 OECD-WGI members, including men and women; representatives of national Governments, regulators, basin authorities, universities and research institutes, NGOs, international organizations, donors, etc.; although Europe was largely represented among participants -with delegates from France, Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Great Britain, Germany and Portugal- representants from Mexico, Australia, Korea and Israel were also very active
Website URL: http://oecd-wgi.watagame.info
- Duration: 3 hours
- Coordinator: Dr Nils Ferrand
- Facilitators: Bruno Bonté, Dr Patrice Garin , Dr Emeline Hassenforder, Delphine L’Aot, Dr Sylvie Morardet, Benjamin Noury, Dr Sophie Richard
- Participants were divided in small groups of around 6
a) General introduction on participatory water governance and CoOPLAaGE
- Participants were invited to consider new perspectives in participatory water governance, including larger stakeholders’ groups and the general public;
- Some original and useful participation methods were introduced, relevant for the water governance cycle.
b) Practical session
- Wat-A-Game (WAG): Participants first discovered an abstract case study; they picked a role (director of the Catchment and Water Agency, mayor of the city, representative of an environmental NGO, delegate of a small holders farmers’ association, chair of the commerce and industry chamber, etc.) and were invited to react as they would do in real operations; 2 different scenarii (normal climate and drought) were explored and discussed;
- Cooplan: Every participant had to fill in an option strip mentioning one or two proposals and describing the implementation level, the estimated intensity of resources required and the expected impacts; all options were then gathered into a collective matrix and discussed (coherency, feasibility, efficiency, etc.);
- PrePar: Participants had to decide how the participatory process should be organized in order to get the water management plan designed, agreed and implemented: with/by and for whom ? With which methods ?
c) Evaluation and lively exchanges on needs and perspectives:
Several participants regretted the lack of time available to get into the large variety of methods and tools presented, especially PrePar.
Yet the session took place in a very constructive and positive atmosphere, no one refused to play the game and all delegates got involved and took an active interest in the successive phases.
A number of positive points were highlighted, among which:
- the integral perspective as well as the tools presented were creative and innovative;
- the simulated situations were very similar to the ones experienced in real cases (frustration due to opposing approaches on the process of decision-making, language and linguistic barriers, etc.);
- it was highly instructive to put oneself in someone else’s place and to see things from another point of view.
- It was suggested to repeat the experience with a simplified version of cards and matrices and more flexibility especially in the planning phases;
- It was decided that the WGI would get greater insights of the practical implications of water governance through IRSTEA-led participatory simulation, and the needed tools and methodologies to manage complexities at catchment level.