- مبلغ: ۸۶,۰۰۰ تومان
- مبلغ: ۹۱,۰۰۰ تومان
In Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin water reform has been contentious as government attempts to reconcile historical over allocation of water to irrigation with the use of water for environmental outcomes. However, in many aspects, scientific knowledge of the environment is either imperfect, incomplete or environmental responses are unpredictable, with this uncertainty preventing definitive policy and closure of political arguments. In response to uncertainty and knowledge gaps, adaptive management has been written into the legislation, along with provisions for periodic evaluation. This research ascertains how adaptive management is understood by policy makers, with this indicative of future implementation of adaptive management. The way in which adaptive management is constructed by policy makers is determined through legislation, public speeches, government reports and semi-structured interviews. The findings demonstrate that adaptive management has been subsumed by evaluation. The loss of adaptive management as a distinct concept is seen as a loss of science and discovery from the policy process, with the dominance of evaluation discussed as limiting innovation and reinforcing a ‘muddling through’ of policy.
6. Recommendation and conclusion
Adaptive management and evaluation are two distinct concepts and practices. However, ambiguities within the legislated definition have enabled policy makers to interpret adaptive management as evaluation. The common step of changing policy or making decisions based on findings is not an adequate reason to merge these concepts; that management may change or in other words, adapt, on the basis of findings, merely draws attention to the poor and ambiguous naming of the concept of adaptive management.
The merging of the two concepts means that adaptive management is no longer able to meet its intended purpose, and no longer provides a platform for imperfect and incomplete knowledge to be included in policy. The dominance of evaluation and its paradigm of performance improvement designed to test the achievement of set objectives, acts to confirm policy choices and contributes to decision accretion. It fails to test alternative hypotheses and overlooks questioning the underlying values that contributed to initial decision making. Over time, it leads to a narrowing of choices, with incremental muddling through.
A number of logistical challenges may have contributed to the merging of adaptive management and evaluation, but it is proposed here that the underlying causes are conflict and politics, with this proposition requiring further testing. However, it does appear in the case study, that adaptive management poses a political risk, with science having the potential to question the wisdom of past decisions, challenging accountability. There remains a strong political need to remain accountable to highly negotiated and specific outcomes. Instead evaluation offers a validation of objectives, confirmation of policy choices and sense of accountability.