Past failures in designing and implementing successful natural resource management policies and practices have taught us that water resource management cannot be based solely on science and technical expertise. It is increasingly recognized as a fundamentally social and political process as it affects the stakeholders, their environment, and their livelihoods. The challenge is to identify responses that will be adopted rather than something that works. Involving stakeholders in the design and evaluation of new management options, technologies, and policies seems to be a promising approach to ensure their success in terms of acceptance and deployment by end-users. In order to come up with feasible, effective, and accepted environmental management solutions, environmental planning and decision-making processes have to be interactive and iterative. This paper identifies key issues in participatory test and evaluation (PTE) and offers a cursory overview of approaches, methods, and tools for participatory evaluation. An outline method for PTE in the water sector is proposed and conclusions drawn as to appropriate deployment.
- Participatory test and evaluation
- water management
- © IWA Publishing 2006