Participatory integrated assessment of water resource projects in Thailand
A new policy was implemented in Thailand entailing more participation of local stakeholders in water reservoir construction projects: the Community-Based Irrigation (CBI) approach, based on Participatory Integrated Assessment (PIA). The research assessed the way actual design processes foster co-learning, include local perspectives in the design; and build trust to overcome local resistance to dam building. Additionally, two innovative participative design methods were tested: Bayesian Belief Networks (BBN) and Agent-Based Modelling (ABM). Finally, the research was broadened to assess compensation of affected families in nine water resources projects. The BBN and ABM tools proved useful for articulating preferences and foster co-learning of local stakeholders. However, they showed low levels of trust. This is mainly related to the insufficient compensation, but also to the different languages of valorization, and mistrust of the local communities. The CBI approach needs to pay attention to garnering trust and creating more flexible compensation.