Hearne, D, 2013 –– Examining the contribution of socio-technical approaches for improving decision-making in integrated watershed management. A case study of Davao, Philippines.
Integrated approaches to water management have undergone rapid changes in the past two decades as society attempts to tackle the continued challenges of degradation and unsustainable use of water and related resources. Core bottlenecks that have inhibited improvement include a persistent failure to contextualize science that can support evidence-based decision-making at the basin level, and the need to build flexible frameworks that can drive collaboration across different interest groups.
The HELP (Hydrology for the Environment, Life and Policy) is a UNESCO led integrated watershed management (IWM) approach, which seeks to address the dual challenge of contextualising science, and driving collaboration to break the ‘paradigm lock’ between science and stakeholders. However as with other integrated water resource management (IWRM) approaches, rigorous analysis is needed to demonstrate the real value and contribution of HELP.
Declan's final project focused on presenting the results of an examination of the HELP approach in the Davao River Basins, Philippines. The case study looked at the progress of breaking the ‘paradigm lock’ by examining the contribution of HELP to improved decision making in integrated watershed management (IWM). This was achieved by exploring consequences in two key areas: knowledge transfer and building social capital. Through online surveys and semistructured interviews, a diverse range of stakeholder opinions were collected. The findings demonstrated that the HELP Davao Network has succeeded in a number of areas.