Using participatory monitoring to build legitimacy an trust in watermanagement

In new modes of governance, in which the role of the state increasingly is replaced by other non-governmental stakeholders (Arts et al., 2006), legal and top-down regulation is steadily being replaced by collaboration between a multitude of stakeholders. Especially in the field of strategic water management we witness a growing mutual dependency between stakeholders who are involved in or affected by water management both in the Netherlands and abroad. The distribution and the availability of knowledge and information for all stakeholders is an important issue, closely related to themes such as power, legitimacy and trust.


Mutual trust is essential for self-organization to replace more formalized strategies. Through participatory monitoring information can be used to (re)build trust between stakeholders.
This project aims to investigate the relationship between participatory monitoring, legitimacy and trust. For this, new ways of collecting and distributing information are developed and validated that are credible to and available for all relevant stakeholders and based on collaboration between professionals and non-professionals in the field of strategic water management.

The main research question therefore is: Can the implementation of strategic water management be facilitated by increasing trust and legitimacy through participatory monitoring techniques?


After the project start-up from May 2012 we have first deepened the understanding of the concepts of trust en legitimacy.  This has also led to an official collaboration with Deltares, Erasmus University Rotterdam, University of Utrecht, VU Amsterdam, within ‘Kennis voor Klimaat project’ HSDR3.5 – Adaptive Implementation Arrangements: a learning approach towards the implementation of climate adaptation strategies’.
Furthermore an  inventory is being made (using amongst others social media – Linked-in Groups), both theoretically and practically (what is already being implemented?) of existing participatory monitoring techniques and projects.