IVM organises international workshop on social capacity building for flood risk mitigation

On 10 November 2016, the IVM organised a workshop with its partners in the CAPFLO project. CAPFLO is a 2-year EU-funded research project addressing social capacity building for fluvial flood risk mitigation, focusing on participatory processes to build the capacity of communities.

11/17/2016 | 11:59 AM

Five institutional partners work on the project, including the Institute for Social Research from Italy, the Leuphana University of Lüneburg from Germany, the Autonomous University of Barcelona from Spain, and the University of Paris-Est Créteil from France. All partners investigate local case studies across the European countries; the Dutch case study focuses on the flood-prone parishes of Itteren and Borgharen near Maastricht, along the Meuse river. The assessment of social capacity in the parishes, conducted in June 2016, was covered by local media.

Representatives from all partners attended the workshop, as well as stakeholders from the case study regions, including a mayor and two members of river basin organisations. During the workshop, one of the main subjects of discussion was the Participatory Tool, a document written by IVM and designed to assist stakeholders that want to build social capacity in their region. Two external experts, Louise Comfort of the University of Pittsburgh and Peter Knoepfel of the University of Lausanne provided feedbacks on the tool. One principal discussion raised by one of the experts addressed the consideration of information technology and new forms of communication in the participatory processes, to be implemented later in the project. Another session of the workshop addressed the experiences of the invited stakeholders from the various case studies regarding participatory processes. These insights from and points raised by practically experienced actors help in identifying and overcoming practical issues regarding the implementation of participatory processes, such as how to sustain the merits of these processes in the long term.

The CAPFLO project is almost half-way, ending in December 2017. IVM will continue to complete the Participatory Tool, and will implement pilot participatory actions in the case study area of Itteren and Borgharen.

The IVM colleagues Dave Huitema, Stefania Munaretto and Douwe de Voogt, and Kees Boersma from the VU Faculty of Social Science attended the workshop.