This comes to you from beautiful northern Idaho, specifically the Lake Coeur d'Alene area
On Friday, 1 June 2012, Harmony Burright, on whose committee I am honored to serve, defended her MS thesis (Water Resources Policy and Management): Beyond “Random Acts of Conservation:” An institutional analysis of the Natural Resource Conservation Service’s Agricultural Water Enhancement Program
She did a thoroughly remarkable job, both with the written document and her defense. Here is a PDF of her presentation PPT:
What struck me about her work was not so much her analysis of AWEP, but her promulgation of design principles and indicators for IWRM. Much has been made of the vagueness of IWRM. But her thesis may provide a path forward.
Her presentation provides an inkling of what is to come. I am not posting her thesis because she is in the process of revising it.
At the risk of being labeled a tease, I will post a passage from her Introduction:
Using AWEP as a case study this research will determine how existing and new institutional arrangement align with IWRM principles and facilitate better outcomes at the operational level. This research will also examine the institutional barriers to implementing IWRM approaches at multiple levels of analysis.
The IWRM literature lacks a clear and consistent analytical framework to assess whether policies and institutions are successful in facilitating a more integrated approach that achieves the desired social, economic and environmental outcomes (Stalnacke & Gooch, 2010). Consequently, I propose to analyze AWEP using the institutional analysis and development (IAD) framework. The IAD framework provides a structured framework for isolating and analyzing important variables that influence institutional design, institutional performance and institutional change. IAD has been used to examine enduring institutional arrangements that facilitate successful management of natural resources at multiple levels. IAD allows an analyst to examine how institutions change over time, by explicitly focusing on the formal and informal rules that structure behavior at multiple levels of analysis.
This research uses a nested case study approach to examine how AWEP influences decision-making at multiple levels (Yin, 1994). Following the IAD framework this paper begins by looking at the development of AWEP at the national level and then examines how the rules established at the national level impact implementation at the national, state and local levels and the resultant outcomes. Using the analysis from the case studies, this paper evaluates AWEP based on a set of IWRM design principles gleaned from an extensive literature review to examine how it facilitates a more integrated approach to water management.
I aim to satisfy the following objectives through this research:
- Identify the contextual and institutional factors that enable or constrain NRCS’s ability to facilitate an integrated approach to water resources management across working landscapes using AWEP as a case study.
- Recommend institutional arrangements within NRCS that may facilitate more integrated approaches to land and water management consistent with IWRM principles.
- Contribute to IWRM scholarship by using the IAD framework as a theoretical framework for analyzing IWRM institutions. Identify ways to improve the IAD framework for use in IWRM research.
- Develop a set of design principles and indicators for IWRM institutions based on IWRM and IAD literature. Assess the utility of the design principles and indicators for evaluating IWRM institutions.
Stalnacke, P., & Gooch, G. D. (2010). Integrated Water Resource Management. Irrigation Drainage Systems, 24, 155-159.
Yin, R. (1994). Case Study Research: Design and Methods (2nd ed.). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publishing.
From her Conclusion:
This research also suggested six design principles of IWRM institutions and identified associated indicators based on IWRM and IAD literature. The study used these design principles and indicators as evaluative criteria to assess the extent to which AWEP aligned with IWRM and also to better understand how institutional factors facilitate or inhibit an IWRM approach within the context of those principles. These evaluative criteria have not been employed in any other IWRM research. While these design principles and indicators were useful for framing this study, the utility of this approach for other IWRM researchers is in question. Future research could benefit from a more rigorous meta-analysis of IWRM principles and indicators. Alternately, IWRM scholars and practitioners could be assembled to discuss and reach preliminary agreement on a set of principles and indicators.
Can't wait until she's finished with edits. I will then post a copy or a link to it.
And I suspect it will be appearing in a journal.
"Rather than proposing and rejecting design principles and indicators in academic literature, I recommend convening IWRM scholars and practitioners to work collaboratively and try to reach some agreement on a list of principles and indicators that could be used for future research." - Harmony Burright, draft thesis, p. 158.