A Conceptual Framework for Social, Behavioral, and Environmental Change through Stakeholder Engagement in Water Resource Management

Weston M. Eaton, Kathryn J. Brasier, Mark E. Burbach, Walt Whitmer, Elyzabeth W. Engle, Morey Burnham, Barbara Quimby, Anil Kumar Chaudhary, Hannah Whitley, Jodi Delozier, Lara B. Fowler, Amber Wutich, Julia C. Bausch, Melissa Beresford, C. Clare Hinrichs, Cheryl Burkhart-Kriesel, Heather E. Preisendanz, Clinton Williams, Jack Watson, Jason Weigle

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Incorporating stakeholder engagement into environmental management may help in the pursuit of novel approaches for addressing complex water resource problems. However, evidence about how and under what circumstances stakeholder engagement enables desirable changes remains elusive. In this paper, we develop a conceptual framework for studying social and environmental changes possible through stakeholder engagement in water resource management, from inception to outcomes. We synthesize concepts from multiple literatures to provide a framework for tracing linkages from contextual conditions, through engagement process design features, to social learning, community capacity building, and behavioral change at individual, group, and group network levels, and ultimately to environmental change. We discuss opportunities to enhance the framework including through empirical applications to delineate scalar and temporal dimensions of social, behavioral, and environmental changes resulting from stakeholder engagement, and the potential for negative outcomes thus far glossed over in research on change through engagement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1111-1132
Number of pages22
JournalSociety and Natural Resources
Volume34
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Keywords

  • collective action
  • community capacity building
  • conceptual framework
  • social learning
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • water resource management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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