Improving the role of River Basin Organisations in sustainable river basin governance by linking social institutional capacity and basin biophysical capacity

Bouckaert, Frederick; Wei, Yongping; Hussey, Karen; Pittock, Jamie and Ison, Ray (2018). Improving the role of River Basin Organisations in sustainable river basin governance by linking social institutional capacity and basin biophysical capacity. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 33 pp. 70–79.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2018.04.015

Abstract

The river basin organisation (RBO) model has been advocated as organisational best practice for sustainable river basin management, despite scant evidence of its effectiveness to manage complex river systems. This review provides a framework which combines functional social-institutional capacities with basin biophysical indicators in a diagnostic tool to determine RBO governance performance. Each of these two capacities are represented by four groups of indicators respectively covering social learning capacity and biophysical capacity. The distance and alignment between capacity and measure of performance scores can be used to prioritise program planning and resource allocation for improving river basin governance, and to undertake periodic evaluations as part of a trajectory analysis. The diagnostic functional framework provides tangible indicators of performance around key concepts in river basin governance. It offers a first attempt to strengthen the position and effectiveness of an RBO in dealing with complex adaptive systems.

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