Incorporating stakeholder engagement into environmental management may help in the pursuit of novel approaches for addressing complex water resource problems. However, evidence about how and under what circumstances stakeholder engagement enables desirable changes remains elusive. In this paper, we develop a conceptual framework for studying social and environmental changes possible through stakeholder engagement in water resource management, from inception to outcomes. We synthesize concepts from multiple literatures to provide a framework for tracing linkages from contextual conditions, through engagement process design features, to social learning, community capacity building, and behavioral change at individual, group, and group network levels, and ultimately to environmental change. We discuss opportunities to enhance the framework including through empirical applications to delineate scalar and temporal dimensions of social, behavioral, and environmental changes resulting from stakeholder engagement, and the potential for negative outcomes thus far glossed over in research on change through engagement.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
- Sociology and Political Science