Water Talks Series n°2 - Prof. Frances Cleaver
The Geneva Water Hub – Education & Knowledge component – is proud to present the 2ndedition of the "Water Talk Series". This series is an open-speech opportunity for researchers to expose and explain their ideas, their stances on contemporary challenges linked to water governance. The presentations, are in English or in French, short and impactful.
Frances Cleaver is Professor of Human Geography at the University of Sheffield, UK, and her research interests focus on understanding the everyday ways that institutions work to shape the processes and outcomes of water governance, particularly at the local level. She has been developing the idea of institutional bricolage to explain why many local institutions (like waterpoint committees or water user associations) are hybrid arrangements which incorporate elements of tradition, practical norms and power relationships, as well as elements derived from bureaucratic models and state driven development. Working from an inter-disciplinary base in international development studies she is interested in how improved understandings of these issues can inform interventions for progressive social change. Currently leading the social science elements of a multi-partner consortium project ‘Hidden Crisis: unraveling current failures for future success in rural groundwater supply’ which is being implemented with WaterAid and other partners (more information about this project here).
Adaptive Water Governance: the Promises and Pitfalls of Institutional Bricolage
In this presentation, Prof. Cleaver explores the idea that institutions for local water governance are shaped more by processes of bricolage (the piecing together of arrangements from the materials at hand) than by design. Drawing on examples from Tanzania and Zimbabwe, she shows that institutions formed through bricolage are dynamic, adaptive and fit their local context. However, they may also be inefficient and inequitable and intermittent. She finally discusses the dilemmas that this poses for development agencies and their planned interventions.