Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fragmentation and connection of frames in collaborative water governance

This article dates back to my work with ACORDES at the University of Cuenca. Together with Monica Mancero, German Cárdenas and Dolores, we analyzed a case of river catchment management in Ecuador. The focus is on the fragmentation and connection of frames in this water governance process, with special attention to problem domain framing, issue framing and scale framing. The article is part of a symposium on water governance, guest-edited by Jurian Edelenbos and Geert Teisman, in the International Review of Administrative Sciences.

This the abstract:

In collaborative water governance, the variety of frames that actors bring to the discussion constitutes an important challenge. In this study, we analyse the fragmentation and connection of frames in collaborative water governance projects in the Paute catchment and its sub-catchment Tabacay in the Southern Andes of Ecuador. We rely on frame analysis of project documents, interviews and meeting recordings to analyse the initial stages of these projects. We discuss (1) the different roles of problem domain framing and issue framing in frame fragmentation; (2) the significance of scale framing to problem domain and issue framing; (3) the challenge of connecting expert frames with frames of other actors; and (4) the importance of face-to-face dialogue for connecting frames.

Points for practitioners

Professionals in public management and administration all over the world are increasingly involved in governance processes where they have to deal with a multitude of actors and perspectives. If their task involves setting up collaborative projects with other governmental agencies, civil society organizations and/or business actors, there is much to gain by paying close attention to how they themselves and other actors are framing both the problem domain and the issues involved. In processes of collaborative water governance, additional attention is required for how projects are framed with respect to water system scales and administrative scales, and for how technical framing of the issues connects to the frames and experiences of other actors.

Here's the full reference:

Dewulf, A., Mancero, M., Cárdenas, G., & Sucozhañay, D. (2011). Fragmentation and connection of frames in collaborative water governance: a case study of river catchment management in Southern Ecuador. International Review of Administrative Sciences, 77(1), 50-75. doi: 10.1177/0020852310390108

The article can also be downloaded here

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