The search for ‘better’ water resource governance, determined by the performance of institutional mechanisms - the making and enforcing of rules governing cooperative human behaviour - is the focus of a large and disparate literature. The rich debates and sometimes conflicting stances within it promote an array of approaches for improved institutional functioning towards the dual goals of poverty reduction and environmentally sustainable growth. Given the complexity of water management contexts at hand this diversity is appropriate, but the challenges facing those seeking to improve water governance are conflated by an often weak empirical basis for many of the strategies articulated in the literature.
This systematic review therefore aims to map the literature on water resource management (WRM) institutions, and objectively appraise the quality of the evidence base for the range of factors, their relative significance and the co-variables which determine their performance in helping to deliver pro-poor outcomes and sustainable economic growth. The goal is to identify, characterize and promote an improved evidence base of high quality research to support more effective interventions by policy-makers, practitioners, water users, advocacy groups and academics alike.
CEE protocol 11-006, Collaboration for Environmental Evidence, Bangor, UK, 67 pp.