The project team undertook an initial exploration for the stakeholder mapping and analysis during the inception phase in June 2016. The in-depth assessment, from July until October 2016, involved interviewing national and local level stakeholders with focus on Lokok and Lokere Catchments, focus group discussions and questionnaires. In January 2017 the focus was on building collaboration through serious gaming.
A first step in mobilising the CMO’s is understanding who should be part of the CMO by analysing the relevant government policies, programs and processes; which stakeholders are involved in natural resources management; and the key issues for these stakeholders with regard to catchment management. Therefore, the process of establishing a CMO and forming the different CMO bodies starts with stakeholder mapping and analysis in order to identify the potential CMO members, before proceeding with capacity assessment and subsequently capacity strengthening and general support.
Catchment Management Planning is a multi-stakeholder process in which government agencies together with local stakeholders, including community based organisations and private sector parties form a platform and work together in a complex process. Engaging stakeholders in the catchment management planning process:
- Raises the awareness and creates greater understanding for Catchment Based Water Resources Management, its potential and the limitations, as well as for the work at hand.
- Facilitates the buy-in or commitment of stakeholders to the plans that are being developed and water resources management.
- Creates mechanisms and processes that are accepted by the water users and other stakeholders and institutionalised within the catchment for conflict resolution, water regulation and enforcement and other water management measures.
Throughout the planning process stakeholders are engaged in the process by providing information to assist them in understanding the problem, opportunities, threats, solutions and options; obtaining feedback on analysis, options and decisions as well as collecting input to the different steps; requesting advice, suggestions and recommendations in identification of preferred options and in decision making.
The current institutional set-up and the stakeholders involved in water resources management were identified in order to understand challenges and needs related to Catchment Management Planning. The stakeholder interests, power dynamics and their current and potential roles in Catchment Based Water Resources Management were mapped. Based on the stakeholder assessment an advice on membership of the CMO was formulated as well as a strategy for engagement of stakeholders in management of the catchments.
Serious gaming methodology was then used as a tool to build collaborative relationships and enhance collective decision making between members of the CMO. The purpose of facilitating the Collaboration Game was to build knowledge amongst the Catchment Management Organisations that were established during the course of the project. The game’s focus is on collaboration and the outcome is learning how to work together as a multi-stakeholder group to realise the Implementation Plan that was generated collectively by all stakeholders. The win-win solutions that are identified and agreed upon can then be put into action.
The Collaboration Game is designed to make stakeholders aware of the need for collaboration in development. The game can only be won through a team effort. The players must jointly develop a district by realising projects. The most promising areas for development, hotspots, play an important role in the game. The challenge for the participants is to jointly realise projects as close as possible to the hotspots. The hotspots, however, are moving ‘targets’. Their movement depends on how many facilities the players realise in the vicinity of a hotspot. The more projects implemented, the lower the chance the hotspot will move. Thus the attention of the players and allocation of resources should remain on the hotspot in order to facilitate its development. An added complexity is that players also have individual goals, which can clash with the joint goal to develop the district. The game ends when players succeed in jointly developing enough hotspots in a game round.