Stakeholder engagement for inclusive water governance

How can decision-makers succeed in managing water for inclusive economic growth and environmental stability? Why is it important to engage stakeholders within and outside the water sector? What are the main trends, drivers, obstacles, mechanisms, costs and benefits of stakeholder engagement in the water sector? 

OECD WaterThe OECD has conducted an in-depth and evidence-based analysis which can be read in their  report “Stakeholder engagement for inclusive water governance”. In this report the OECD argues that governments have an important role to play in establishing an institutional environment that encourages exchange and more bottom-up decision-making processes.

There are many economic, environmental and social benefits to be gained from effectively engaging stakeholders in water policies and projects. Greater cooperation increases acceptance and trust among stakeholders. Also it drives down the costs, contributes to greater policy coherence and more synergy among projects. There are also less tangible benefits from better co-operation: knowledge development, conflict avoided, and social cohesion. If policy makers and the broad range of stakeholders choose to work only with their peers and within their spheres of activity, instead of with each other, they will fail to meet current and future water challenges.

The report proposes six principles for creating the necessary conditions for outcome-oriented, fit-fortarget, anticipatory and adaptive stakeholder engagement and it also suggests a Checklist for Public Action to support the implementation of the principles. For full report, consult the OECD Library :

In October 2015, The Hague Academy for Local Governance organises the two-week training course “Multilevel Water Governance” in which the OECD Head of the Water Governance Programme and drafter of the above report, Ms. Aziza Akhmouch will be one of the leading experts. Application is still open.


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