A policy analysis: How global water governance finance stakeholder participation?

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Abstract Summary
Stakeholder participation is a certain element for safeguarding resilience, especially in the interaction between actors in governing water-related to changing climate. Water governance takes place on various scales and intersects boundaries, from local to the global level. Solving problems related to water at the local level is not as easy because the drivers might not be local and need to have a broader perspective. On the global level, indeed, the challenge is a lower possibility of engaging all relevant stakeholders. However, the global level should have the basic policy and guidelines to emphasize stakeholder's participation, specifically in water governance. Also, given that the decision taken in one level of governance can affect the decision on another level, stakeholder participation can advantage reconcile decisions across scale/level. This article assesses the importance given to stakeholder participation in global water policy/law documents and analyses specifically the World Bank's basic policies, policies related to water, and how it addresses stakeholder participation. The importance of stakeholder participation in all levels of water governance should be supported by financing the engagement process. How the participation cost considered on water-related World Bank projects are also examined. The qualitative content analysis employed in this research, with deductive codes from stakeholder participation cost literature, and potential additional inductive codes were simultaneously considered from the relevant policies and interviews. The analysis concludes that global water policies and World Bank policies emphasize participation, first, the Bank's operational manuals mention the importance of community engagement (e.g., OP 4.02; 4.10; 4.12 and 14.70). Second, an examination of how water-related projects operationalize participation and participation costs shows that the projects "belong" to the borrower, which means that the participation (consultation process) of stakeholders, including relevant community members, is the responsibility of the country/party borrowing the money. Third, the cost of participation depends on the type of project. In the pure CDD (Community-Driven Development) projects, the cost of the involvement for water-related projects is higher than in non-CDD projects, and the cost for participation is usually budgeted in the project component by the borrower. Fourth, stakeholder participation appears to be seen as a capacity-building, which is very different from actual stakeholder participation; it appears that stakeholder participation cannot be effective without a capacity-building component. Finally, the lack of transparency on stakeholder budgeting makes it challenging to assess the tangible and intangible costs, whether this is tailor-made to the culture of the country and the structure of the problem.
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4: Safeguarding the Urban Resilience
PhD Student
Human Geography, Planning and Internatinal Development Studies , University of Amsterdam
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