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Abstract

The world is experiencing serious water and energy challenges. The growing world's population is one of the factors that contribute to shortage of resources and make them on top of the global future challenges. The current world's population is 7 billion and it is expected to grow to be 9 billion in 2050. In view of this fact, and if the current consumption rate of water and energy continued, the need for new resources will be increasing. These facts demand the cooperation and coordination of all parties, researchers, policy makers and stakeholders. The latter here means all those who are affected in a way or another by water and energy challenges, the suggested solutions, and results of any newly developed approaches. Stakeholder engagement has been gaining in popularity in water and energy industries for better governance of resources. There is a trend of involving stakeholders in public policy decisions; citizens should know how those decisions are taken. Involving citizens in decision making and in governing the water and energy supply will help governments bring to light the challenges more effectively and manage resources more successfully. At global level, numerous case studies have been carried out to bring stakeholders engagement precisely; this is how the process of engaging stakeholders began to take serious steps towards practice rather than staying in the theoretical stage. However, decision makers need to know with evidence; the best principles that work and the working area of stakeholder's contributions. So far, careful assessments for evaluating the effectiveness of stakeholder engagement are still needed. Such experienced evaluations are essential for understanding how far engaging stakeholders helps in inclusive governance of resources, in both water and energy sectors. This research assesses and evaluates the effectiveness of stakeholder engagement in policy implementation and decision making. It is an evidence-based assessment that helps policy makers know the best working principles and the perfect areas where stakeholders contribute efficiently. Before the assessment stage, the research sheds light on some must- to- study areas: Motives of Stakeholder Engagement Numerous factors flag the necessity of sustainable development of how the resources are governed to better face the future challenges. The main four motives are: demographic and economic trends that push the demand of new resources and limit the ability of governments to respond efficiently; climate change that plays a critical role in scarcity of resources; socio-political issues including new policy, regulations, standards, and sustainability goals, all call the need of adaptive governance; and technologies that accelerate communication and boost relationships. Listing down stakeholders at all levels and the power of each party. The research categorizes stakeholders under three groups: marginalized groups (citizens, poor, youth, and women); novice stakeholders (long-term institutional investors and property developers); and prime stakeholders (governments, suppliers, service providers, involved business and organizations, civil community, lawmakers, and farmers) Barriers Hinder Effectiveness of Engagement: Stakeholders engagement is a somehow complicated process and affected by a verity of factors; it differs from place to another, and from individual or organization to another. However, barriers are common and identifiable. Addressing those barriers help in overcoming them. The following are examples of common barriers and the reasons behind them: Absence of public awareness and concern. The engagement is complicated process. Fuzziness of the topic of how to use stakeholder leads to difficulty of consultation limitation of funding, staff and time lack of leadership and political will lack of strong legal statements that support the case Irregularity of the information Reluctance to give up power and resistance to change lack of sufficient capacity getting consultation from prim categories is not easy Stakeholders Engagement Approaches Engagement of stakeholders comes with a wide range of different approaches. Public information programs, citizens' referenda, workshops, and taskforces, are just a few examples. These approaches are based essentially on objectives, time, and place. The diversity of approaches and its dependency on several factors makes the engagement principle complicated for decision makers. Stakeholders can be engaged through two main approaches: formal and informal. These approaches based essentially on web applications. The research shows the upsides, as well as, the downsides of each approach. The comparison is combined with on-the-ground experiences and case studies. After shedding light on each approach, the research suggests which approach is working for each kind of stakeholders, stage of policy, objectives, and governance level. Key principles and a Checklist for Public Action Providing decision makers with a supportive guide of how to use stakeholder engagement successfully is very useful. This research outlines the necessary requirements for having effective engagement that results in benefits at both short and long term. The offered principles along with Checklist for Public Action, self-assessment tools, and indicators help decision makers discover the defect areas that need improvements. For formal principles, the research discusses the importance of the following systematic, comprehensive approaches for decision makers. It is the way for obtaining far better results and outputs for both the time involved and the required resources. Thus, any issues related to stakeholders, or any rising risks can be managed in more efficient ways. Know your stakeholders very well: address all stakeholders who will be subjected to outputs. Define what motivates them, how will they interact, and the responsibilities they can take over. Answer some questions like who will be affected by the results? Map the objectives of stakeholder's involvement. Put limits to decision making engagement. Depict how their inputs will be used. Share information: distribute the required information and provide stakeholders with suitable resources for both financial and human levels. Put assessment frameworks. The process of engaging stakeholders requires a type of assessment at different stages. These assessments help give feedbacks that are essentials for improvement and adjustment. Outline the process of stakeholders' involvement with precise and transparent policy and legal frames. Surround the process with responsible authorities and organizational principles is necessary. Customize the type and level of engagement to meet the requirements. Add flexibility to the engagement process, so that it adapts any unexpected changes. The Assessment stage of stakeholder engagement There is still a persistent question: How effective is the system of engaging stakeholders? The lack of sufficient evaluation of the system with regard to the cost, benefits and effectiveness calls the need of carrying out efficient analyses and assessments. The research offers an assessment which carried out to evaluate how the contribution of stakeholders in decision making is effective. It then addresses the challenges of efficient evaluation, and finally evaluates the assessment tools to underscore their strengths and weaknesses. The research reviews the procedures and results of the available assessment tools to propose models of expected costs, benefits and risks. When stakeholders do engage successfully, it can be a win-win for decision maker and society. Stakeholders engagement is an absolute necessity for facing the current and future global challenges. The only decision for decision maker is not whether to engage stakeholders, but it should be when and how to effectively engage them. The decision makers need an evaluation of stakeholders engagement that discloses the key principles and the perfect areas where stakeholders contribute efficiently. This research helps them know which approach is perfect for which stakeholder, objective, policy, and governance level.

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/content/papers/10.5339/qfarc.2016.SSHAPP1826
2016-03-21
2019-12-12
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