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 case studies

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Work Packages /_Case Studies /_Overview

Case studies, experiments and action research were the sources of practical information. Their objective was

  • to gain first hand experience with PP in river basin management so as to examine how social processes and information tools and models are applied and used in practice at the river basin level;

  • to study the issues identified in the first four work packages and test the ideas developed on effective PP so as to identify approaches that work and those that do not, highlighting those which can be put forward as "good European practices".

Case studies in the nine respective countries were undertaken in close co-operation with existing river basin district authorities (or their close equivalents) as end-users of the final project output. National workshops with stakeholders were organised to discuss the draft case study reports and their implications.

Many factors influence the choice and effectiveness of PP approaches, such as the national culture, the presence or absence of river basin commissions and authorities, the national or international character of the basins, the bio-region, and the main water management problems. The nine countries included in the research consortium and the cases selected within these countries provided a wide variety with respect to these factors. This ensured the assessment was representative of the wide range of situations likely to be encountered in the EU and in the accession countries.
The case studies were mapped into the following generic framework to improve the comparability:

  • type of basin (national, trans-national, size),

  • experience of management at basin scale,

  • experimental setup,

  • principal stakeholder (e.g. river basin management authority),

  • principal scale of action,

  • stakeholder groups to be involved,

  • involvement of the public at large,

  • main issue under consideration.

Three types of case-studies were distinguished:

  1. Ex post analysis, mainly based on literature review,

  2. Ex post analysis mainly based on interviews with those involved,

  3. Pilot studies and experiments with researchers witnessing the processes first hand during the development of plans.

A mixture of these case studies was used to obtain views on the success or failure of PP in the development of plans and test the tools and methodologies devoted to PP.

A template was used to describe and analyse the cases and guide the experiments. The template was flexible enough to allow for the diversity in approaches but provided sufficient guidance to enable comparison between cases and experiments. The template also uncovered practical details such as the cost of the approaches. The template was initially designed for use in the project but it was reviewed in the next work package integration and improved based on the experience gained to provide a tool for evaluating future PP processes.

Finally nine national case study reports were made available. They were based on the template providing an assessment of the processes involved, the information tools used, their success and lessons to be learnt.

An additional report on "Good European Practices for Stakeholder Involvement - Lessons from Real Planning Processes" completed the outputs of work package five.

The case studies took place in different countries but the team was lead by WRc Swindon.

The nine case studies were conducted in the following countries: