From Conflict to Co-production: A Grassroots-Led Model of Polycentric Water Governance in the Postcolonial South - CO-Water


European Union's Horizon 2020, Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 101029193

Project time period

October 2021 - September 2024


Secondment: Transnational Institute (TNI), the Netherlands


CO-Water aims to conceptualise a grassroots-led model of polycentric water governance in which the initiatives and aspirations of social movements are fruitfully integrated into co-production in the water sector. Four objectives have been defined: to comprehend the specific conflicts through which social movements come into being; to understand the potentialities and limitations of social movements in catalysing new forms of co-production; to evaluate existing state-led water governance and institutions, in regards to their transformational potentialities; and to envision a model of grassroots-led polycentric water governance by engaging with concerned groups. The empirical research consists of case studies of three social movements in the Jakarta metropolitan delta, as well as complementary case studies from Europe and Latin America. We look at the experiences of social movements in regards to these objectives, to advance key features of co-production and polycentric governance theories. Four bodies of literature are mobilised and cross-fertilised: the key works of Elinor Ostrom and selected reviews, developments, and critiques of these works by others; collective action literature within spatial planning and development studies, public administrative and management studies; literature on water governance in the Postcolonial South; and literature on urban social movements. Training during the Fellowship will focus on systematically expanding the researcher's theoretical horizon with an advanced comprehension of theories, improving her research and teaching methodology, extending her professional networks, and learning the management aspects of scientific co-operation and research development. Fuelled by an interdisciplinary approach to environmental conflicts, the Fellowship will link her research to development practices and add value for the coherent implementation of several SDGs, particularly SDG#6 on water and sanitation and SDG#11 on cities and communities.