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Hashemi - Science and Policy Interface


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Hashemi - Science and Policy Interface

  1. 1. Science and Policy Interface: An integrated socio-technical and Institutional Framework to deal with water scarcity in WANA regionMukhtar Hashemi  National Consultant, Water Resources Management, UNDP/GEF Conservation ofIranian Wetlands Project
  2. 2.  Science and Policy Interface: issue in the 2009 Istanbul World Water Forum (WWAP, 2009).Science and This section attempts to address one main question: how to link or find an interface between policyPolicy Interface: (institutional matters) and science (technical and natural environment aspects); in other words, an interface between scientific knowledge systems andAn integrated socio-technical and policy-making decisions. Given the complex nature ofInstitutional Framework to deal with water scarcity in the WANA region, finding thewater scarcity in WANA region science –policy interface is vital to enhance the policymaking process in the region.Why Science Policy interface for WANA Basic definitionsRegion Hashemi and OConnell (2011) have provided theWANA region is characterised by its dynamic nature following definitions of key terms used in this section:in terms of socio economic and political, climate,technological and resource availability changes. Policy- A Framework is a non-predictive representation ofmakers have to consciously change their assumptions. structures and provides interlinkges for the relevantSo, policy-makers tend to use empirical and analytical components of a system that influence the policy inevidences1 to legitimise policy decisions. However, question.the evidences carry a varying degree of uncertainties. theory “makes specific assumptions on the linkagesSometimes, this has resulted in inaction and lack of between variables and outcomes” (quoting Clementimprovising sustainable polices or polarisation of 2008)opinions among major decision and policymakers. a model “makes more precise predictions than aThis polarisation will undermine both political theory and often relies on mathematical tools"confidence and the question of legitimacy. The latter (quoting Clement, 2008)is a vital component in any policy appraisal (Hashemiet al, 2007). The primary role Technical and Interface: a mechanism or framework to link twoempirical evidences is to educate the policy-makers systems; be able to exchange, use or process theabout the nature of the problem and provide informationevidence for policy-making and not to legitimize Perspectives are mental models of actors involved inpolicy (Sharifi, 2003). However, policymakers tend to designing , implementing and affected by policy inuse technical evidences in arguments by highlighting questionuncertainties in some results to reject or accept agiven policy. Interface: a mechanism or framework to link two systems; be able to exchange, use or process theIn the WANA region in which water scarcity is a fact information.of life, water sector institutions need to be re- A Science-policy interface defines the points oforiented to cater for the needs of changing supply- interaction, interplay and linkage between technicaldemand and quantity-quality relationships in the and social or non-technical frameworks.emerging realities (Saleth & Dinar, 2004). One of themain obstacles to implementing IWRM is institutional Stake-holding is defined as a measure of the changinginadequacy i.e. lack of workable policies. wide. attitudes of stakeholdersInstitutional matters were still the most important1 Multidimensional Water scarcity Evidence: any kind of qualitative and quantitativeinformation including values and perceptions andsubjective views Page 2
  3. 3.  Science and Policy Interface:Water scarcity in WANA region is multi-dimensional. others that X is a social problem or that Y offers theA World Bank Report (2007) highlights three levels solutions.of scarcity including Policy formulation and adoption: consists of 3Governance level: lack of transparency in decision main phases: analyzing policy goals and solutions,making; Worldwide Governance indicators (WGI) identifying alternative recommendations and finallydeveloped by the World Bank (2010) is based on selecting a policy.perception data and measures 6 categories of good Policy implementation: once a policy has beengovernance since 1996: legalized (usually through an Act of Parliament) aThese are Voice and Accountability mandate is given to administrative institutions to implement the policy. This is done at local, provincialPolitical Stability and Absence of Violence / and national levels. Administrative bureaucraciesTerrorism make decisions about how to use both human andGovernment Effectiveness, financial resources.Regulatory Quality Policy evaluation/adjustments/termination: it involves selecting an option among criteria based onRule of Law and values and ideologies. A policy appraisal entails a factControl of Corruption finding mission: information must be obtained to measure the extent to which a policy goals have beenOrganisational capacity level: inability of organisations met. Therefore, efficiency indicators are employedto effectively manage water resources for this purpose. The data required includes viewsPhysical resource level (water shortage, water stress and values of the institutions/organizations involved,conditions, temporal and seasonal variations) stakeholders and general public who may be paying for the implementation of a policy. Opposing groupsA single water policy cannot deal effectively with the can portray their preferred options as being mostmultilevel water scarcity issues and hence there is a efficient by emphasizing on different assumptions,need for integrated enabling assessment tools to (Stone, 2002). Therefore, it is always a contestableachieve adequate policy decision outcomes. A science concept.policy interface can be used to harmonise scientificevidences in policymaking decisions. PitfallsUnderstanding Policy making process There are certain issues (pitfalls) that has a bearing on policymaking process. These are as follows:Deborah Stone (2002) describe policy making as “thestruggle over ideas. Also, as reported by Stave (2002), Poor definition of policy objectives. IncoherentDietz and Stern (1998) among others, noted that goals and objectives are sometimes blamed forpolicy decisions are based on social values (values of inadequate policies which is influenced by ethicalsociety as a whole). By inspecting policy literature, 4 context of decision making i.e. customs,steps in policy making process are identified perceptions, belief and culture (Loucks & van Beek,(FrameWorks, 2005): 2005).Problem identification/gaining agenda status: Lack of Local knowledge. Armitage (2004) notesissues labeled as social or public problems get the that: local knowledge system is an important elementattention of legislative bodies and hence will gain for a successful policy on the use of resources.agenda status. Issues that do not perceived as a Community based natural resources management isproblem by the society will not become a policy increasingly popular, (Fortmann et al, 2001). Armitage(Best, 1995). Best asserts that framing an issue (2004) recalls form experiences in West Africa thatdepends in part upon whether the claims persuade the mainstream narratives and policy discourse on the impact of population growth and environmental  Page 3
  4. 4.  Science and Policy Interface:decline have caused marginalization of those without prejudice and advantage (Hampton, 2004).disadvantaged resource users least able to protect Stakeholders should be involved in discussing thetheir interests and rights. Kidane-Mariam (2003) trade-offs. Participation provide legitimacy for a givennotes that: a similar pervasive view has led to the policy (Hendriks, 2005) and enhances the ownwrshipadoption of policies in Ethiopia and Ghana with little and general acceptance of a given policy. However,impact on actual population growth and many participation platforms have no clear boundaryenvironmental degradation because of the lack of and position rules (se e.g. Ostrom, 2005) for theimplementation strategies at local, regional and participants. Some of the participants do not havenational levels. These polices were based on resource confidence or not allowed to have a meaningfulmobilization mechanisms from international sources. participation and have restrictive roles. StakeholderOn an international basis, Water policy comes within participation has also side effects such as slowingbroader policies on sustainable development, down the process of decision-making and could leadMillennium Development Goals, MDGs and human to conflicts as well (Ubbels and Verhallah, 2000).development criteria. The regional or local issuesmight be overlooked by these donor driven polices. Undermining learning during the process.. People’s evaluation of policies may change as theirInadequate consideration of Ethics A Central perception changes about issues they value. This isquestion in policy appraisal is how to take called stakeholding. Many participants might changeenvironmental issues into account in decision making their position but if rigid poltical tactics are playedprocess? Ethical [value-laden,? Moral, religious] people are locked in their position and hence theconsiderations have been the backbone of process of true consultation will be stopped. It willenvironmental agenda, (Healy et al, 1994). For also cause a polarization of opinions if the stakholdingexample, Healy et al (1994) suggest that UK process is undermined. One has to appreciate that allunderstanding of the meaning of environment from are in a process of learning.1940s to 1990s have 5 strands: (1) a welfarist-utilitarianism combine with a moral landscape Lack of economic assessment of policy. Theaesthetic (1940s on); (2) growth management, main constituents of environmental policy areservicing and containing growth and conserving open regulatory institutions (Emel et al, 1995). Therefore,land (1960s on); active environmental care and in our appraisal of a policy we must consider themanagement (1970s on); (4) a marketised costs of a regulation. Despite being a common issue,utilitarianism, combined with conservation of there is little understanding of the economy-widenationally important heritage (1980s on) and (5) costs of regulation (Pearce, 2000). Regulationssustainable development. impose costs on business and impair competitiveness. Therefore economic measures can bring these costsPearce (2000) suggests that ideas such as carrying down by accelerated depreciation on cleancapacity, ecological footprints and environmental technology (removing uncertainty of policy change forspace can emanate from concerns about equity and businesses); inducing and simulating technologicalare helpful to raise resource efficiency but they have change; encouraging savings (less consumption); andlittle relevance for policy. How can we apply equity investing in human capital (education). Technologicalprinciples (Millennium Development Goals, MDG) in changes affect institutions and governmentsnatural resources decision making? The answer is to (economic agents) and in response, they have tointegrate equity into cost-benefit analysis since adapt to these changes in order to survive in aeconomic valuation and cost-benefit analysis provide competitive environment, (Archibugi et al, 1999).one coherent set of procedures for determininghuman concerns (health, amenity, resource depletion Understanding the meaning of integratedetc). methodological framework. To attain a science-policy interface, social assessmentLack of clear participation mechanisms. All frameworks (such as institutional analysis and policystakeholders should be given a voice and be heard Page 4
  5. 5.  Science and Policy Interface:analysis frameworks) and technical assessment Conceptual frameworks: comprising of (a)frameworks (such as DPSIR2) should be linked. First, decision-making perspective and (b) IWRM interfacewe need to consider the meaning of the framework frameworks.and differentiate it from theory and model. Secondly, Analytical frameworks: (a) DPSIR (Driver-there is a need to appreciate the implications (and Pressure-State-Impact-Response) socio-technicaladvantages) of the use of different theories and assessment and (b) institutional analysis (IA) ‘socialframeworks to form the a single conceptual assessment’ frameworks.framework. As explained by Clement (2008) “Aframework identifies structures and links the relevant DSSs consisting of coupled tools such as process,variables or elements that affect the issue in concern, planning and evaluation models and tools statisticalbut does not make any predictions” (p. 33). By and multi-criteria decision-making (MCDA) tools.comparison, a theory “makes specific assumptions on Interactive and internet based stakeholderthe linkages between variables and outcomes” and a participation platform with DSS performancemodel “makes more precise predictions than a theory assessment (uncertainty and risk analysis) tools withinand often relies on mathematical tools”. Some might a graphical user interface (GUI) shell.criticise this approach of combining varioustheoretical frameworks in a single conceptual The integrated framework provides an interfacemethodological framework to be “an internally between policy and science by (a) linking socio-contradictory and messy approach, with a limited technical Driver-Pressure-State-Impact-Responseexplanatory capacity”. However, we need to (DPSIR) assessment framework with Institutionalappreciate that these frameworks are non-mutually Analysis and Development (IAD) Framework; and (b)exclusive and there are interfaces or points of providing a basis for good governance by integratingcontacts between them; hence they can be an ethical and cultural aspects within the DPSIRconceptually linked to each other. framework (Figure1).Science policy interface componentsThere are three elements to be considered: (1) the Figure 1: The proposed science-policyunderlying assumptions (IWRM, sustainable interface integrated methodologicaldevelopment, decision making perspectives (2) frameworkstakeholder participation and (3) DSS interface. Inorder to achieve the science-policy interface, two Conceptual frameworks Dealing withobjectives must be attained: (1) the user friendly cultural and ethical aspectstechnical assessment tools (such as DSSs) should bedesigned to accommodate non-technical experts(common users); and (2) they should yield easilyinterpreted or understood evidence(data/information). Based on these two objectives,the proposed science-policy interface integratedmethodological framework (Figure 1) is a uniqueanalytical approach (similar to Blomquist et al, 2005)that can establish the links or interfaces betweentechnical and policy and institutional frameworks.Therefore, the conceptual methodological frameworkconsists of the followings:2 DPSIR stands for Driving forces-Pressures-State-Impact-Response socio-technical analytical framework  Page 5
  6. 6.  Science and Policy Interface: and often decision makers make mistakes on these types of simple- looking questions. The perspectives framework may have six ‘agents’: natural physical environment, economic, ecological harmony, institutional (political), social and ethical. These are parallel to the dominant paradigms of IWRM, sustainable development, holistic and ecosystem approaches. This mental model has an important role and can have inputs into both analytical and conceptual frameworks by measuring cultural and ethical influences on policy- making decisions. Human perspectives are considered as part of evidences or input information and hence this framework is an important element of the proposed methodological framework. IWRM has three institutionalPerspectives are important as shown in the case of interfaces for intervention: the national level interfacepolicymaking on climate change: the action taken by provides a linkage to the national water policy levelthe decision-makers has been influenced by their through the IDA policy map framework; theperception of the ‘danger’ of climate change (Daniels management level interface captures the institutional& Endfield, 2009). The ethical aspects of administrative aspects of the water resources systemdecision/policymaking have two elements: first, the and provides links to the multilevel IAD and thehuman elements of ethics that deals with human DPSIR frameworks. The local level interface is anperspectives (Spranger, 1928) and second, a cultural operational level in which water availability andcontext of ethics. The latter relates to the allocation is evaluated based on the three pillars ofenvironment in which decision making takes place. sustainability (equity, economic efficiency andSpranger (1928) made a great contribution by environmental sustainability) using the DPSIRconsidering value laden human perspectives: framework. Also, it can be considered as antheoretical, economic, atheistic, social, political and institutional interface by linking to the action arena ofreligious. Spranger argued that these perspectives are the IAD framework.not mutually exclusive and so a man can have multipleperspectives at the same time. Institutional interventions can occur at:Perspectives are important in the participatory local level; the day to day management of the waterdecision making. Usually, simple questions have no or resources (or action arena)very difficult answers such as Penman’s (1961) famous organisational (administrative) management level inquestion: “what happens to the rain?” and so ‘how which development plans are developed monitoredmuch water should be allocated to the environment?’. and evaluated; andThey are simple in linguistic form but very hard toanswer and require many negotiated deliberations Page 6
  7. 7.  Science and Policy Interface:governance level in which policies are reviewed and Since the advent of modern computing platforms inrevised. the 1960s and despite scepticisms and uncertainties, modelling systems have become indispensable tools inAnalytical frameworks water resources management. They have beenThe methodological framework requires analytical postulated to support the decision-making processframeworks to study change, predict future trends, and hence the term decision support systems (DSSs)assess impacts of policies on the water resources emerged. Past research indicates that decision makerssystems and provide alternative options. In this are becoming more dependent on scientificmethodological framework, the Driver-Pressure- information (e.g. Matthies et al, 2007; Liu et al, 2008)State-Impact-Response (DPSIR) (AidEnvironment, and hence there is a quest for developing2004; ProGea, 2004) is adopted to assess, evaluate comprehensive DSSs; certain end-users expect the soand offer alternative management options change and called ‘super’ software which can make decisions withthe impact of the policy in question a click of a button i.e. they require instantaneous answers to extremely intricate situations.The institutional analysis (IA) framework consists oftwo institutional analysis approaches: DSSs are not off-the-shelf software packages but they are interactive multi-stakeholder decision-makingThe Institutional Decomposition Analysis (IDA) platforms. A DSS is not a tool for making-policy but itFramework (Saleth & Dinar, 2004). Using the IDA is a tool to facilitate an informed, transparent andframework, a water institution is defined in a participatory decision-making process.pragmatic way by considering it to have three maincomponents: (1) Water Policy; (2 ) Water Law; and Living with uncertainty(3) Water Administration (Saleth & Dinar, 2004). This The scientific uncertainty of any analytical assessmentframeowk can provide a map for existing polices. may limit the authority of scientific knowledge inThe Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) policy making (Shackley et al, 1996). The scientificFramework (Ostrom, 1999, 2005). The IAD ambiguity serves both policymakers and scientists: itframework is a multi-level analysis framework and is can be used as an alibi in accounting for a lack ofuseful as it can link local with higher decision levels. policy effectiveness. However this should not affectThe IAD framework is a powerful analytical tool to the importance of scientific knowledge in decisioncapture institutional levels which do not necessarily making as uncertainty is a byproduct of analyzingcorrespond to administrative levels. For example, complex issues, (Armitage, 2004).local communities can establish their own rules which One of the uncertainties around freshwatercan operate at collective choice or even the availability is the impact of climate change on bothconstitutional levels (see e.g. Clement, 2008). temporal and special distribution of freshwaterTherefore, it is not a rigid framework and can be (Carpenter et al, 1992). Nevertheless, it is now aused in a variety of situations depending on the actors common knowledge that climate change will affectand action situations. The IAD framework can be both precipitation and evaporation and hence thelinked to the perspective model and DPSIR water cycle. Global warming (increasingframework to reflect the institutional aspects of the temperatures) will therefore, affect the abundance ofdecision-making process. freshwater needed for drinking, irrigation, industry,One thing we have to remember is that we have to transportation, tourism and the meaning of an institution when dealingwith different institutional analysis frameworks as the The way forwardmeaning of an institution is different in each of the An integrated methodological framework is proposedinstitutional frameworks used. to create a science-policy interface based on: first, establishing the relationships between the dominantDSSs are not for policymaking paradigms (e.g. IWRM) and different methodological  Page 7
  8. 8.  Science and Policy Interface:frameworks (e.g. Institutional Analysis, DPSIR); andsecond, linking social (policy) and scientificmethodological approaches through an exchangemechanism among outputs of the frameworks used inthe DSS. An IWRM approach can use scenarioanalysis which is embedded in the DPSIR framework.This will interface with the IA framework. Theinterface between science and policy can beestablished by looking at integrating technical andsocial assessment methodologies on a dynamic,interactive multi-windowed stakeholder interfaceplatform. The IWRM paradigm will itself need toevolve to embrace emerging issues such as themanagement of ‘green’ water and accounting forvirtual water.Polices to deal with water scarcity in WANA regionare influenced by cultural and ethical aspects whichrepresent a dimension of the community attributeswhich has to be considered in any policy analysisexercise. On the above basis, it is argued that it isvital to incorporate ethical perspectives intointegrated institutional and technical frameworks forbetter water resources management under waterscarcity. Page 8