Sustainable Water Management in Cities: Engaging stakeholders for effective change and action. 13-17 December 2010. Zaragoza, Spain
Zaragoza, 14th December 2010
Stakeholder engagement leads to adapted and more effective solutions
Solutions that are generated locally with stakeholders are more likely to lead to appropriate actions, to promote flexible and adaptive working practices, and to foster and strengthen the development capacity of local organizations and communities
Professor Esi Awuah from Accra, Ghana talks about a strategic plan for Accra water management and stakeholder engagement. "Once the SWITCH project is completed, we want to hand over a strategic development plan for water and sanitation for the city in the year 2030 [...] we hope that the members of the stakeholders will have the passion or the vision that SWITCH had
Researchers and farmers work hand in hand to ensure high impact and smooth innovations in the day to day life of the farmers [...]." Professor Cal Jainming talks about the chain of stakeholders from farmers to policymakers
Learning Alliances facilitate change by building bridges between experts, implementers and policy makers
They facilitate integration and scaling-up of changed practices in urban water management. They facilitate learning considering that often there is more to learn from failure than from success: we can be successful for reasons we don't understand, but the roots of failure are usually more apparent.
Kala Vairavamoorthy, Scientific Director SWITCH
Learning Alliances: Introduction
The idea of Learning Alliances has emerged in response to the widespread failure of much conventional research to have significant impact. It is also in response to recognition that new products and processes are brought into use, not just by the activities of researchers, but through the activities of a number of widely different actors and organizations. This group of interconnected players typically includes public sector (e.g. line ministries, utilities, regulators, educators, research institutes), private sector (e.g. industry, financial services), and civil society players (e.g. NGOs, media, professional bodies and unions, advocacy organizations).
The activities and interactions within such groups, and the rules governing them, which together give rise to the development and diffusion of technologies, are referred to as an innovation system (i.e. the system-wide framework that facilitates – or inhibits – the scaling up of innovation). A learning alliance is a grouping of constituent organisations from a given system, which seeks to take relevant innovation to scale. The more representative the alliance is, the better it will capture the organisational complexities that constitute the realities of the innovation system. SWITCH aims to foster such alliances to facilitate integration and the scaling-up of innovation in urban water management.
In each of the demonstration cities a Learning Alliance has been or will be established. Information specific to the demonstration cities is contained in the Cities section of the website; the Learning Alliances section contains general information about and guidance for Learning Alliances.