The added value of understanding informal social networks in an adaptive capacity assessment: explorations of an urban water management system in Indonesia

Larson, Silva, Alexander, Kim S., Djalante, Riyanti, and Kirono, Dewi G.C. (2013) The added value of understanding informal social networks in an adaptive capacity assessment: explorations of an urban water management system in Indonesia. Water Resources Management, 27 (13). pp. 4425-4441.

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Abstract

Social networks play an important role in environmental governance regimes, and they are a key to the adaptive capacity of systems that deal with complex, contextual and multi-faceted issues. Urban water systems are typical examples of complex systems facing many pressures, such as increased population, water quality deterioration, and climate change. This paper explores social networks of the key stakeholders engaged in urban water management, in Makassar City, Indonesia, in the context of exploring ways to improve management of an increasingly complex urban water system. Three social networks were explored; those constituted by formal and informal interactions and networks perceived by stakeholders to be "ideal". Formal networks were identified through an examination of the legislative instruments and government agencies' documents relating to water provision in Makassar, while the informal and "ideal" networks were investigated in collaboration with the stakeholders. The research found that the informal social network was more extensive than were the formally required networks, and the investigation of informal networks created a potentially more robust and adaptive water management system than would have occurred through inclusion of formal institutional arrangements. We suggest that in examination of the adaptive capacity of an urban water system, one also considers the informal arrangements and linkages, as this additional information about the system is necessary to enhance our understanding of potential adaptation of water management and improved urban water systems.

Item ID: 32606
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: Adaptive capacity, complex adaptive systems, institutional arrangements, integrated urban water management (IUWM), Makassar, perceptions of water system
ISSN: 1573-1650
Funders: AusAID CSIRO Research for Development Alliance
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2014 01:36
FoR Codes: 12 BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN > 1205 Urban and Regional Planning > 120504 Land Use and Environmental Planning @ 30%
12 BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN > 1205 Urban and Regional Planning > 120505 Regional Analysis and Development @ 40%
14 ECONOMICS > 1402 Applied Economics > 140214 Public Economics- Publically Provided Goods @ 30%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960301 Climate Change Adaptation Measures @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960309 Effects of Climate Change and Variability on the South Pacific (excl. Australia and New Zealand) (excl. Social Impacts) @ 20%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960311 Social Impacts of Climate Change and Variability @ 30%
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