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BeWater policy analysis tool piloted

Wednesday, 16 December 2015 Posted in News, BeWater News

Global change covers different policy sectors and requires a clear understanding of the inter-linkages, overlaps and inconsistencies between policies. To analyse policies in a standardised manner, the BeWater Policy Watch developed and piloted tools to facilitate the implementation of the BeWater policy analysis. The tools are built on common keywords and indicators to facilitate the comparison of policies.

Within BeWater a comparative analysis is made of local water policies and other sector policies which address global and climate change at the river basin scale. In order to conduct such an analysis, individual policy instruments, e.g. a regulation, a directive, a decree or an over-arching policy, must be analysed for their content before comparisons between instruments and sectors can be performed. The BeWater Policy Watch previously initiated a process of building a Policy Review tool which consisted of a Guidance Note for researchers to identify important elements within individual policy implements relevant to the BeWater Project. It was quickly found a standardised approach was needed to facilitate the analysis. For that purpose, a Policy Analysis tool was developed by the BeWater partners INRGREF, CyI, CREAF and IzVRS, under guidance of Deep Blue Consultants.

The Policy Analysis tool uses pre-specified key words as potential indicators, and can easily be applied by using word search tools to facilitate document review. In addition, the accumulation of key indicators provides a possibility for a preliminary scoring process.

To test the efficacy of the data sheet tool, policy instruments for each case study river basin were selected, covering different sectors such as: water, agriculture, forestry, energy, and environment. The tool was evaluated for each river basin for the content of indicators and each indicator’s presence was noted numerically on the data sheet table, with the result that policy tools with a higher content of indicators receives a higher numerical ‘score’. Even with limited policy data collected during this pilot study, there is a surprising amount of analysis, based on indicator sets that can be done between sectors. One valid observation, for example, is that policy sectors outside of the water sector appear to be more active in promoting participation and stakeholder involvement. Preliminary results also indicate how a more detailed picture of the policy landscape can be achieved by simply adding more policy instruments to the list, including other sectors.

In a next step, the Policy Analysis tool will be used to identify potential opportunities and / or blockages by policies to the implementation of river basin management and adaptation plans.


Photo credits: INRGREF