Joining the dots: a framework for assessing integration in flood risk management with applications to England and Serbia

Cumiskey, Lydia (2020) Joining the dots: a framework for assessing integration in flood risk management with applications to England and Serbia. PhD thesis, Middlesex University. [Thesis]

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Over decades the concept of integration has been promoted to enhance alignment between policy domains and to manage trade-offs and maximise synergies across management practices. Integrated approaches have the potential to enable better outcomes for Flood Risk Management (FRM) and society as a whole. However, achieving integration in practice is a recurring challenge, especially for FRM where multiple actors need to work together across fragmented policy domains. To further advance the concept of integration, this thesis develops and applies a framework for assessing integration in FRM and identifying different degrees of integration. The framework sets out the context of integration, assesses the governance capacity for integration through the strength of relationships between different types of actors (bridging, bonding and linking) and the mechanisms (actor-, rule- and resource-based) that influence them, and the realisation of integration in FRM practice through knowledge, policies and interventions. The framework is applied to different FRM integration challenges in England and Serbia using data collected from in-depth interviews with FRM professionals (n=73), participant observation at FRM related meetings (n=27) and document analysis at national, regional and local levels. The findings demonstrate the dynamic nature of achieving integration in FRM and how degrees of integration can evolve for different integration challenges in FRM and progress at various speeds. The research demonstrates the need to create a culture of collaboration and continuous learning within and across FRM and sector-specific organisations to realise integration in FRM through multiple mechanisms. Five types of boundary spanning roles were identified (reticulist, entrepreneur, interpreter, organiser and specialist) that facilitate actors’ ability to work within existing mechanisms (e.g. rules, funding mechanisms and partnerships) to jointly develop knowledge and capture opportunities across sectors to realise integration in practice. Creating such a cultural shift that enables integration in FRM requires sustained resources, such as joint funds to generate and maintain such boundary spanning roles, as well as associated partnerships and training programmes, and appropriately designed rules in the long-term. Overall, the framework can be applied by researchers, policymakers and practitioners to facilitate a better understanding of integration in FRM and support its realisation.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Flood Hazard Research Centre
B. > Theses
Item ID: 29624
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Depositing User: Brigitte Joerg
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2020 16:07
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2021 16:49

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