As they provide a negotiating space for a diversity of interests, Multi-Stakeholder Platforms (MSPs) are an increasingly popular mode of involving civil society in resource management decisions. This book focuses on water management to take a positive, if critical, look at this phenomenon. Illustrated by a wide geographical range of case studies from both developed and developing worlds, it recognizes that MSPs will neither automatically break down divides nor bring actors to the table on an equal footing, and argues that MSPs may in some cases do more harm than good. The volume then examines how MSPs can make a difference and how they might successfully co-opt the public, private and civil-society sectors. The book highlights the particular difficulties of MSPs when dealing with integrated water management programmes, explaining how MSPs are most successful at a less complex and more local level. It finally questions whether MSPs are - or can be - sustainable, and puts forward suggestions for improving their durability.
Jeroen Warner is from Wageningen University and Research Centre, The Netherlands.
'This pioneering book weaves critical analysis of cases and constructive synthesis of concepts into an insightful examination of 'what sort of beasts' multistakeholder platforms may become. Highly recommended for water managers and researchers, and anyone who wants to learn more about these increasingly popular strategies for participatory problem-solving.' Bryan Bruns, Consulting Sociologist, co-editor of Negotiating Water Rights and of Water Rights Reform: Lessons for Institutional Design 'Multi-Stakeholder Platforms for Integrated Water Management provides a true introduction to participatory management. The various chapters present a broad overview of the variety of issues confronting water users as they organize themselves to manage the resource base. Based on a range of practical cases, that highlight specific issues, Warner has been able to connect water use practice to theories of public management in a very elegant and clarifying way. Overall, a very interesting and recommendable read.' Ger Bergkamp, IUCN - The World Conservation Union '...an extremely timely contribution to debates around public deliberative forums for water resources management.' Journal of Environmental Planning and Management '...the book makes a valuable contribution to planning generally, and environmental planning specifically, in its explication of methods and tools for assessing situations where MSPs might be employed and facilitating their creation and usefulness. There are few books that do this as well.' Australian Planner