CRITICAL ROLE OF BRIDGING ORGANIZATIONS IN RIVER BASIN MANAGEMENT IN ALBERTA, CANADA
Free (open access)
91 - 101
The paper examines bridging and brokerage functions performed by a Canadian watershed-scale bridging organization in Alberta’s watershed governance and management system. The Bow River Basin Council (BRBC), a multi-stakeholder bridging organization in the Bow River Basin in southern Alberta, Canada, provides the demonstration context for exploring concepts of bridging organizations and their evolving roles. BRBC performs strategic bridging functions that connect and engage cross-sectoral public and private stakeholders who otherwise would not be included in watershed governance or management decision-making processes. BRBC operates at the watershed-scale and plays critical roles as a strategic broker of information, knowledge, values, and power and influence in the region. BRBC provides venues for stakeholder collaboration to resolve complex watershed management problems where solutions are reached by consensus. Stakeholders work together to identify shared community values and issues of common concern. BRBC builds trust relationships, co-generates cross-sectoral knowledge, and facilitates social learning to help resolve stakeholder conflicts over the use and management of scarce water resources in the Bow River Basin.
bridging organization, social-ecological systems, social network analysis, social network mapping, strategic bridging functions, social learning, river basin management