Involving citizens in the management and protection of their rivers is one of the challenging aims of the SPARE Project. Enabling citizens to frame, monitor and evaluate their own participatory process is even more challenging. The Project partners from Irstea have been developing participatory methods and tools for adaptive governance processes and have been supporting their implementation in various countries for twenty years. Within the framework of SPARE, the Irstea Cooplaage toolkit has been completed with innovative tools, such as “My Riverkit”: a kit for modelling, exploring and discussing the ecosystem services (ES) concept with various stakeholders (water users, water managers, decision-makers, etc.).
Pilot Case Studies and Project partners discovered a first range of these methods during a first workshop in Allex, France, in summer 2016. Some in-depth training and support were required for some months while PCS Project partners tried to design and implement their own participatory strategies.
The second workshop on participatory methods took place in Ljubjana, Slovenia, on the 28th and 29th of September 2017. Fourteen participants attended the workshop, i.e. pilot manager, facilitator from Pilot Case Study or project partners. This training focused on the Cooplan methods, which consist of proposing actions and combining them in action plans for river management and protection. Moreover, participants were able to test a beta version of My Riverkit and gave Irstea some valuable feedback to improve the final version. Finally, some key points were highlighted on how to monitor and evaluate the participatory processes implemented in each SPARE Project PCS.
Written by Sabine Girard, Emeline Hassenforder and Nils Ferrand (IRSTEA)