We Can Work it Out: Implementation and Collaborative Governance Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_projects/gb19f7473

2016

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  • Collaborative governance strives to address complex environmental problems by building cooperation and consensus among stakeholders. While there are many successful examples of collaborative governance, all too frequently collaborative groups come to an agreement in the meeting room only to struggle to bring their plans to fruition. What are the factors that help or hinder collaborative governance during implementation? To address this question I examine the Hurunui Waiau Zone Committee, an example of government-initiated collaborative governance for water management. This qualitative case study used coding of semi-structured interviews, as well as a synthesis of findings from government documents and newspaper articles. The initial planning process faced time constraints and lackluster participation by key stakeholders. Despite coming to consensus on a plan, the process of codifying that plan into statutes and beginning implementation was marred by conflict and venue shopping. This created barriers to implementation and brought to the surface shortcomings in the original plan. However, it also galvanized participation in the collaborative process which helped to prioritize implementation actions that had wide buy-in and create a more inclusive process. While several important parts of the plan remain unimplemented, there have been some significant accomplishments related to the regulation of water quality and quantity. This case highlights the impact of constraints during planning, the importance of prioritizing during implementation, as well as a trade-off between inclusivity, timely decision-making, and the legitimacy of the collaborative process.
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