Analyzing Collaborative Governance Through Social Network Analysis: A Case Study of River Management Along the Waal River in The Netherlands.
ABSTRACT: Until recently, governmental organizations played a dominant and decisive role in natural resource management. However, an increasing number of studies indicate that this dominant role is developing towards a more facilitating role as equal partner to improve efficiency and create a leaner state. This approach is characterized by complex collaborative relationships between various actors and sectors on multiple levels. To understand this complexity in the field of environmental management, we conducted a social network analysis of floodplain management in the Dutch Rhine delta. We charted the current interorganizational relationships between 43 organizations involved in flood protection (blue network) and nature management (green network) and explored the consequences of abolishing the central actor in these networks. The discontinuation of this actor will decrease the connectedness of actors within the blue and green network and may therefore have a large impact on the exchange of ideas and decision-making processes. Furthermore, our research shows the dependence of non-governmental actors on the main governmental organizations. It seems that the Dutch governmental organizations still have a dominant and controlling role in floodplain management. This challenges the alleged shift from a dominant government towards collaborative governance and calls for detailed analysis of actual governance.
Project description:Nearly 300,000 women--almost all poor women in low-income countries--died from pregnancy-related complications in 2010. This represents a decline since the 1980s, when an estimated half million women died each year, but is still far higher than the aims set in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) at the turn of the century. The 1970s, 1980s and 1990 s witnessed a shift from near complete neglect of the issue to emergence of a network of individuals and organizations with a shared concern for reducing maternal deaths and growth in the number of organizations and governments with maternal health strategies and programmes. Maternal health experienced a marked change in agenda status in the 2000s, attracting significantly higher level attention (e.g. from world leaders) and greater resource commitments (e.g. as one issue addressed by US$40 billion in pledges to the 2010 Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health) than ever before. Several differences between network and actor features, issue characteristics and the policy environment pre- and post-2000 help to explain the change in agenda status for global maternal mortality reduction. Significantly, a strong poverty reduction norm emerged at the turn of the century; represented by the United Nations MDGs framework, the norm set unusually strong expectations for international development actors to advance included issues. As the norm grew, it drew policy attention to the maternal health goal (MDG 5). Seeking to advance the goals agenda, world leaders launched initiatives addressing maternal and child health. New network governance and framing strategies that closely linked maternal, newborn and child health shaped the initiatives. Diverse network composition--expanding beyond a relatively narrowly focused and technically oriented group to encompass allies and leaders that brought additional resources to bear on the problem--was crucial to maternal health's rise on the agenda in the 2000s.
Project description:Improving access to quality services is integral to achieving better outcomes for noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). In Kazakhstan, like other countries with historically centralized governance models, key to improving quality is instilling a common and shared understanding of the roles and responsibilities in correspondence with the multifaceted nature of quality of care. This review details the experience of two pilot projects implemented in Kazakhstan's regions of Kyzylorda and Mangystau over a three-year period with the aim to improve clinical practice through a multi-actor, multi-intervention approach. Adopting a health system perspective, the pilots, by design, introduced interventions targeting four actors: policy-makers; health facility managers; health practitioners and patients. The review draws on the following sources of data: rapid baseline assessments; implementation plans, curriculums and other pilot-related material; a mid-way joint implementation meeting; intervention-specific evaluations; and a final external evaluation. The multi-actor, multi-intervention approach to the pilot projects showed some improvements to service outputs, in particular for cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk assessment and decreases in hospitalization rates for hypertension. The pilot projects also illustrated progress in working towards a shared understanding of the different roles of actors for improving quality of care, appreciating the complementarity of individual actors working towards improved population health and in establishing a culture of learning through the exchange of ideas and practices. The importance of responsibility across health system actors for outcomes is vital for the NCD agenda. This approach offers relevant policy lessons for similar centralized governance systems.
Project description:<h4>Background and aims</h4>Minimum unit pricing (MUP) for alcohol was introduced in Scotland on 1 May 2018, and is now on the policy agenda in other devolved administrations and at Westminster. Previous research has explored the arguments deployed for and against MUP, but the congruence between actors in the MUP debate has not been sufficiently examined. This study identified and mapped the discourse coalitions that emerged in the UK MUP debate through an analysis of actors' use of arguments in media coverage of the policy debates.<h4>Design</h4>A sample of print media coverage of MUP was obtained from the LexisNexis newspaper database. The resulting sample was imported into discourse network analysis (DNA) software for coding and subsequent visualization of actor networks.<h4>Setting</h4>United Kingdom.<h4>Observations</h4>A total of 348 articles from eight UK-wide and three Scottish newspapers from an 18-month period, ending in November 2012, were analysed.<h4>Measurements</h4>Actors' arguments were coded to generate structured data for conversion into a weighted actor network where ties represent similarities among actors in terms of arguments in support of or opposition to MUP.<h4>Findings</h4>Two polarized discourse coalitions, Opponents and Proponents of MUP, emerged in media coverage. The Proponents coalition consisted mainly of health advocacy groups, charities, political parties and academic institutions. In the Opponents coalition, the networks were formed of key alcohol manufacturers and economic think-tanks. While producer organizations were central to the Opponents coalition, some commercial actors were more favourable to MUP, highlighting divisions within the industry overall.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Media coverage of minimum unit pricing (MUP) in Scotland from June 2011 to November 2012 showed alignment between the policy positions of (1) alcohol producers and think-tanks opposed to MUP; and (2) public health advocates and health charities in favour of the policy. Some alcohol industry actors were supportive of MUP indicating divisions among the industry. Discourse network analysis may be usefully applied to study other highly contested policy issues in health and beyond.
Project description:This paper presents the Actor in 4 dimensions (A4D) model as a complementary tool to the Social-ecological systems framework (SESF) in order to better integrate individual and groups' representations into local environmental governance analysis. As the A4D is based on actors' representations of their social-ecological system (SES) and of its governance, it mainly informs the Actors subsystem of the SESF, even if it can also give useful insights for other framework's sub-systems. We define the SESF actor's sub-tiers and the corresponding A4D indicators and highlight the complementarity between both approaches in order to operationalize the SESF. This parallel is exemplified by the case of Maio island (a small-scale fishing community in Cape Verde). Our comparison also highlights other assets of the A4D methodology for the advancement of environmental governance's study. •The A4D allows actors' participation and discussion on the SES and analyses common and divergent discourses and values between actors.•The A4D points to power relations by integrating strong, weak and absent actors in its analysis.•By highlighting subjective and reflexive elements, the A4D complements the SESF in their common attempt to analyze SES.
Project description:Regime shifts have been observed in marine ecosystems around the world, with climate and fishing suggested as major drivers of such shifts. The global and regional dynamics of the climate system have been studied in this context, and efforts to develop an analogous understanding of fishing activities are developing. Here, we investigate the timing of pelagic marine regime shifts in relation to the emergence of regional and global fishing activities of the Soviet Union. Our investigation of official catch statistics reflects that the Soviet Union was a major fishing actor in all large marine ecosystems where regime shifts have been documented, including in ecosystems where overfishing has been established as a key driver of these changes (in the Baltic and Black Seas and the Scotian Shelf). Globalization of Soviet Union fishing activities pushed exploitation to radically new levels and triggered regional and global governance responses for improved management. Since then, exploitation levels have remained and increased with new actors involved. Based on our exploratory work, we propose that a deeper understanding of the role of global fishing actors is central for improved management of marine ecosystems.
Project description:We define a software ecosystem as a set of organizations collaboratively serving a market for software and services. Typically these ecosystems are underpinned by a common technology, such as an extendable software platform. This data set supports the article that describes the Software Ecosystem Governance Maturity Model ( SEG-M2 ) . The model has the goal to support software ecosystem orchestrators in the management and governance of the actors in their ecosystems in a structured way. Through a critical structured literature review, 168 practices have been collected. These practices have been evaluated through six case studies at software ecosystem orchestrators. The practices are described with a practice code, a practice name, a practice description, required success conditions, the person responsible for the practice, and the associated literature where the practice was identified.
Project description:Resource management boundaries seldom align with environmental systems, which can lead to social and ecological problems. Mapping and analyzing how resource management organizations in different areas collaborate can provide vital information to help overcome such misalignment. Few quantitative approaches exist, however, to analyze social collaborations alongside environmental patterns, especially among local and regional organizations (i.e., in multilevel governance settings). This paper develops and applies such an approach using social-ecological network analysis (SENA), which considers relationships among and between social and ecological units. The framework and methods are shown using an estuary restoration case from Puget Sound, United States. Collaboration patterns and quality are analyzed among local and regional organizations working in hydrologically connected areas. These patterns are correlated with restoration practitioners' assessments of the productivity of their collaborations to inform network theories for natural resource governance. The SENA is also combined with existing ecological data to jointly consider social and ecological restoration concerns. Results show potentially problematic areas in nearshore environments, where collaboration networks measured by density (percentage of possible network connections) and productivity are weakest. Many areas also have high centralization (a few nodes hold the network together), making network cohesion dependent on key organizations. Although centralization and productivity are inversely related, no clear relationship between density and productivity is observed. This research can help practitioners to identify where governance capacity needs strengthening and jointly consider social and ecological concerns. It advances SENA by developing a multilevel approach to assess social-ecological (or social-environmental) misalignments, also known as scale mismatches.
Project description:Background: In their landmark report on the "Principles and Practice of Screening for Disease" (1968), Wilson and Jungner noted that the practice of screening is just as important for securing beneficial outcomes and avoiding harms as the formulation of principles. Many jurisdictions have since established various kinds of "screening governance organizations" to provide oversight of screening practice. Yet to date there has been relatively little reflection on the nature and organization of screening governance itself, or on how different governance arrangements affect the way screening is implemented and perceived and the balance of benefits and harms it delivers. Methods: An international expert policy workshop convened by the three lead authors. Results: While effective governance is essential to promote beneficial screening practices and avoid attendant harms, screening governance organizations face enduring challenges. These challenges are social and ethical as much as technical. Evidence-based adjudication of the benefits and harms of population screening must take account of factors that inform the production and interpretation of evidence, including the divergent professional, financial and personal commitments of stakeholders. Similarly, when planning and overseeing organized screening programs, screening governance organizations must persuade or compel multiple stakeholders to work together to a common end. Screening governance organizations in different jurisdictions vary widely in how they are constituted, how they relate to other interested organizations and actors, and what powers and authority they wield. Yet we know little about how these differences affect the way screening is implemented, and with what consequences. Conclusions: Systematic research into how screening governance is organized in different jurisdictions would facilitate policy learning to address enduring challenges. Even without such research, informal exchange and sharing of experiences between screening governance organizations can deliver invaluable insights into the social as well as the technical aspects of governance.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has recently set the ambitious "90-90-90 target" of having 90% of people living with HIV (PLHIV) know their status, receive antiretroviral therapy (ART), and achieve viral suppression by 2020. This ambitious new goal is occurring in a context of global "scale-down" following nearly a decade of heightened investment in HIV prevention and treatment efforts. Arguably international goals spur action, however, setting unrealistic goals that do not take weak health systems and variations in the nature of the epidemic across countries into consideration may set them up for failure in unproductive ways that lead to a decline in confidence in global governance institutions. This study explores how policy actors tasked with implementing HIV programs navigate the competing demands placed upon them by development targets and national politics, particularly in the current context of waning international investments towards HIV.<h4>Methods</h4>To examine these questions, we interviewed 29 key informants comprising health experts in donor organizations and government employees in HIV programs in Pakistan, a country where HIV programs must compete with other issues for attention. Themes were identified inductively through an iterative process and findings were triangulated with various data sources and existing literature.<h4>Results</h4>We found both political and governance challenges to achieving the target, particularly in the context of the global HIV scale-down. Political challenges included, low and heterogeneous political commitment for HIV and a conservative legal environment that contributed towards a ban on opiate substitution therapy, creating low treatment coverage. Governance challenges includedstrained state and non-governmental organization (NGO) relations creating a hostile service delivery environment, weak bureaucratic and civil society capacity contributing to poor regulation of the health infrastructure, and resource mismanagement on both the part of the government and NGOs.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Our findings suggest that in a context of waning international attention to HIV, policy actors on the ground face a number of practical hurdles to achieving the ambitious targets set out by international agencies. Greater attention to the political and governance challenges of implementing HIV programs in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) could help technical assistance agencies to develop more realistic implementation plans.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Despite increasing global attention to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and their incorporation into universal health coverage (UHC), the factors that determine whether and how NCDs are prioritized in national health agendas and integrated into health systems remain poorly understood. Childhood cancer is a leading non-communicable cause of death in children aged 0-14 years worldwide. We investigated the political, social, and economic factors that influence health system priority-setting on childhood cancer care in a range of low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). METHODS AND FINDINGS:Based on in-depth qualitative case studies, we analyzed the determinants of priority-setting for childhood cancer care in El Salvador, Guatemala, Ghana, India, and the Philippines using a conceptual framework that considers four principal influences on political prioritization: political contexts, actor power, ideas, and issue characteristics. Data for the analysis derived from in-depth interviews (n = 68) with key informants involved in or impacted by childhood cancer policies and programs in participating countries, supplemented by published academic literature and available policy documents. Political priority for childhood cancer varies widely across the countries studied and is most influenced by political context and actor power dynamics. Ghana has placed relatively little national priority on childhood cancer, largely due to competing priorities and a lack of cohesion among stakeholders. In both El Salvador and Guatemala, actor power has played a central role in generating national priority for childhood cancer, where well-organized and -resourced civil society organizations have disrupted legacies of fragmented governance and financing to create priority for childhood cancer care. In India, the role of a uniquely empowered private actor was instrumental in creating political priority and establishing sustained channels of financing for childhood cancer care. In the Philippines, the childhood cancer community has capitalized on a window of opportunity to expand access and reduce disparities in childhood cancer care through the political prioritization of UHC and NCDs in current health system reforms. CONCLUSIONS:The importance of key health system actors in determining the relative political priority for childhood cancer in the countries studied points to actor power as a critical enabler of prioritization in other LMIC. Responsiveness to political contexts-in particular, rhetorical and policy priority placed on NCDs and UHC-will be crucial to efforts to place childhood cancer firmly on national health agendas. National governments must be convinced of the potential for foundational health system strengthening through attention to childhood cancer care, and the presence and capability of networked actors primed to amplify public sector investments and catalyze change on the ground.