PhD defense Ms. N. Van Schie
Title PhD Thesis
Co-valuation of Water
Prof.dr. W.A. Hafkamp
Prof.dr. J.J. Bouma
18 June 2010 13:30
Faculty of Social Sciences (FSS)
Involving citizens in water plans
Involvement crucial for feasibility
Citizens and other stakeholders should be involved from the beginning until the end in interactive planning to make space for water in the Netherlands, poses Nienke van Schie in her PhD-thesis ‘Co-valuation of water. An institutional perspective on valuation in spatial water management’. Currently, citizens are mainly involved in scenario development for water projects, while educated experts traditionally dominate the evaluation of these scenarios. Van Schie will defend her thesis on Friday June 18th 2010, at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Dutch water management shows a development towards spatial water management, including all relevant parties and searching for integral solutions. Practice shows that citizens or stakeholders can provide useful information for local projects and that their involvement increases societal support for decisions. The domain of water management, however, is traditionally dominated by experts and engineers, and strongly institutionalized methods for decision-making. Assessment or evaluation of plans is determined by economic valuation and the application of Societal Cost-Benefit Analyses (SCBAs).
Nevertheless, both expert knowledge and stakeholder information and values are needed for safe, feasible, and socially accepted plans for Dutch spatial water management. Also, economic values (as identified by experts) often are not accepted by stakeholders, which may hinder the societal support for decisions. Hence the need for an approach of evaluation that enables to combine the values and information of both parties.
In her thesis, Van Schie presents an approach of co-valuation to integrate economic valuation in the interactive process. She developed this approach during research in the interactive decision-making project ‘Around Arnemuiden’. This project showed that the values of citizens are not (always) predefined, and cannot be uniformly measured (for example in money).
In co-valuation, stakeholders, experts and civil servants collaborate in the identification of relevant values for decision-making. This has the potential to increase societal support and integral outcomes, which may improve current problems in Dutch spatial water management with participation and integral assessment.
The project Around Arnemuiden was executed in 2006-2007 in a collaboration of the municipality of Middelburg, the province of Zeeland, Rijkswaterstaat, DLG and the Water Board. Erasmus University Rotterdam, TNO and Tauw functioned as external project organizers. It was co-financed by ‘Leven met Water’.
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Publication date: 15 June 2010