Organizational Resilience in RBOs: Evidence from Lao PDR and Thailand
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Organizational Resilience in RBOs: Evidence from Lao PDR and Thailand



By Pichai Uamturapojn, M-POWER Fellow...

By Pichai Uamturapojn, M-POWER Fellow

Presented at the Mekong Forum on Water, Food and Energy
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
December 7-9, 2011
Session 8a: Presenting the work of the M-POWER Fellows



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Organizational Resilience in RBOs: Evidence from Lao PDR and Thailand Organizational Resilience in RBOs: Evidence from Lao PDR and Thailand Presentation Transcript

  • Organizational Resilience in RBOs Evidence from Lao PDR and Thailand Pichai Uamturapojn
  • Today’s Agenda• What is an organizational resilience? and Why?• Why RBOs?• RBOs in Lao PDR and Thailand• ‘In’ and ‘Between’ Discussions
  • Interim Research objectives • Understanding the causes and processes of organizational changes in and/or between RBOs in Lao PDR and Thailand. • Working on how organizational changes of the RBOs in terms of mandate, authority and capacity.
  • What is ‘organizational resilience’? • one another concept? or just a new trend? ‘Organizational resilience’ is defined as a function of the overall vulnerability, situation awareness and adaptive capacity of an organization in a complex, dynamic and interdependent system (McManus et al. 2008). ‘Organizational resilience’ is also seen as a system’s capacity to maintain or restore an acceptable level of functioning despite perturbations or failure (Robert et al. 2010).
  • Why organizational resilience?• ‘Organizational resilience’ allows flexibility characterized by the informal work practices, local autonomy of action, management systems for feedback, learning and continual improvement (McDonald 2006).• Does it sound appropriated to so-called our “Mekong way” of practices? To regain a dynamically stable stage, and thus to be resilient, an organization necessarily needs to be adaptive.
  • Why RBO?• Water resources management are traditionally dominated by sectoral activities as common of irrigation, forestry, hydropower, mining, rural & urban water supplies, etc.• It is geographically and politically in the hands of upstream-downstream institutions - recognizing the introduction of the RBOs towards cross-sectoral & co- management approach.• RBO is to promote awareness and strengthen stakeholder participation and involvement in water resources management and decision making throughout the basin.
  • What is RBO?• By operational criteria (Mostert, 1999) ‣ hydrological ‣ administrative ‣ coordinated• By interdisciplinary coordination ‣ IWRM? through RBO?
  • Interim Research Questions • How is the structural organization of the RBOs in Lao PDR and Thailand? and why they were/are framed in those ways? • How are they coordinated linkages among negotiated actors? • How do the RBOs prepare and respond to variety of cross-sectoral & cross-functional scopes?
  • Research Methodology Collection of RBO reviews & case studies RBO in Laos: Case - Num Ngum RBO Formulation of Cross-case ‘organizational Research comparison of resilience’ in Discussion findings RBOs RBO in Thailand: Case: Bang Field-based Prakong RBO interviews with RBOs & stakeholders
  • RBO in Lao PDR• RBO was first established in mid 2001 under the Water Resource Coordination Committee (WRCC - currently merged to WREA) with inadequate resources and mandates.• It gradually became functional during the preparation of the Nam Ngum River Basin Development Sector Project (2004-2010).• In June 15, 2010, the establishment and activities of River Basin Committees was passed by a Prime Minister’s Decree.• RBO is operated under the LNMC for national-wide water resources management as well as with Mekong Basin.
  • RBO in Lao PDR At Ministerial level, there are various ministries involved in water resources management as: • Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) • Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MPWT) • Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) • Ministry of Health (MoH) At Prime Minister’s Office, there are: • Water Resource & Environment Administration (WREA) • Lao National Mekong Committee Secretariat (LNMCS) • Science Technology & Environment Agency (STEA) • National Tourism Authority (NTA)
  • RBO in Lao PDR• At Organizational level, the WRCC secretariat and the LNMC secretariat were merged into a new WREA which included a new Department of Water Resources (DWR) in mid 2007.• WREA included Department of Meteorology and Hydrology (formerly under MAF) and other environmental responsibilities (formerly part of STEA).• On June 24, 2011, the MoNRE was established by merging National Land Management Authority (NLMA) with WREA and several portfolios from departments of Geology and Forest Management and Protection.
  • RBO in Thailand• 7th National Plan (1992-1996) had provided incentive to water resources management in all 25 basins.• A main key challenge was/is the bureaucratic balance among water-related agencies.• In 1997, a new constitution had determined roles of people in protecting & managing natural resources, where gave authorities to local administrative bodies.• In 2002, the MoNRE was established with DWR tasked with IWRM-based, guided the RBO by Office of the National Water Resources Committee (ONWRC).• Over 30 water-related laws, with responsibilities shared by more than 30 departments, overseen by 9 ministries.
  • RBO in Thailand• RBO is (still) practically a top-down decision making throughout the mandate, authority & capacity of DWR in particular - who’s acting as the Secretariat channelling all the needed budgets.• RBO is stated nature of parallel processes with no clear-cut spatial coordinates by several administrative agencies, particularly with the Royal Irrigation Department (RID).• This competition creates an unnecessary attrition with other water-related agencies, especially in the provincial and local scales.
  • ‘In‘ Discussion • RBO itself is created by increased cooperation and even more networked partnerships, with lack of adaptive capacity in secretarial management towards emergence of complex. • RBO is heavily influenced by each traditional top-down sectoral bureaucratic experience in a hierarchical context, where existence of varying degrees of development in different government agencies could be implied that the adaptive management of RBO necessarily increase the resilience in organization’s changes.
  • ‘Between‘ Discussion• What we see ‘difference’ between Lao PDR and Thailand is a process of trade-off between functionality & authority in RBOs’ capacity adaptation.• IWRM-based networking is applied & practiced across transboundary basin-wide scale, challenging new balance of geo-politics priorities.• Need to further examine on-going administrative and policy contexts towards changing decision making mechanisms.
  • ‘In’ & ‘Between’ triggers towards RBO changes ‘In’ • memberships structure • functional scope • decision making process • information sharing & management • dispute resolution mechanism • financing ‘Between’ • decentralization • public-private partnerships • influence of NGOs • transboundary agreements
  • For Academic Challenges • Its challenge is to apply resilience concept & framework towards reinforcing the adaptive capacity of RBOs in organizational level. • Complexity of water resources management is to evaluate towards functional scopes of the RBOs.
  • Thank you very much for sharing water. pichai.uamturapojn @ gmail