How governance affects participation: insights from water resources planning projects in Colombia and Peru
This brief explores how the design of water resources governance systems in Colombia and Peru affect stakeholder participation, drawing on insights from SEI projects in both countries. There is a growing interest in improving the governance of natural resources to ensure both equity and sustainability. Governance is not the same as government – political authorities – but instead looks more broadly at how decisions are made and resources are managed, and the multiple actors, including civil servants and stakeholder groups, who participate in the process. Local and national water governments are increasingly reorganizing their management structures to better promote more inclusive water governance. Many have adopted participatory processes, and Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), a holistic approach to governing water based on stakeholder participation, has been widely embraced as a path toward sustainable and equitable water governance. There has also been extensive discussion of decentralization versus centralization, the best scale for management, and whether jurisdictions should be delineated by hydrologic boundaries or political ones.