Multi-stakeholder participation for sustainable delta management: a challenge of the socio-technical transformation in the management practices in Bangladesh

Mutahara, M.; Warner, J.F.; Khan, M.S.A.


In Bangladesh, participation discourse has officially become part of the objectives of the government and international agencies for water management projects since the mid-1990s. At the same historical timeframe, originating from indigenous knowledges Tidal River Management (TRM) has been formalized as a less structural and more natural management intervention to prevent the severe water-logging in the South-west region in the Bangladesh delta. It theoretically constituted a form of participation in the delta management system involving local community groups with government and management authorities. However, multi-stakeholder participation is still very challenging in practices. Even community management approaches are not sustained in delta management practices in Bangladesh. In this research, a socio-technical transformation is defined through a participatory research in the south-west coastal area having both qualitative and quantitative evaluation of changes in the delta management system brought about by TRM practices. This article also analyses the current problems besetting organized community participation in existing management practices and suggests the ways of developing effective multi-stakeholder processes (MSPs) with respect to sustainable management goal in deltas.