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Assessing Collaborative Governance through Alternate Rationales: A Case Study of Watershed Partnerships in Hawai‘i.

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Title:Assessing Collaborative Governance through Alternate Rationales: A Case Study of Watershed Partnerships in Hawai‘i.
Authors:Bolduc, Sara
Contributors:Urban and Regional Planning (department)
Keywords:Collaborative Natural Resource Management
Environmental Governance
Indigenous Planning
show 1 moreWatershed Partnership
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Date Issued:May 2018
Publisher:University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Abstract:Collaborative governance approaches to large-scale resources management such as watershed planning
have been increasingly studied, promoted, and implemented in recent years, with varying degrees of
success. Specifically, researchers have struggled with generating meaningful evaluative mechanisms to
measure the accomplishments of these endeavors involving stakeholders with competing mandates,
including disparate values, power imbalances, and difficulties with measuring or quantifying on-the-ground
improvements. This dissertation examines rationales for decision-making of collaborative governance
efforts, and ultimately, how these rationales frame the approach used to evaluate the success of these efforts.
The research uses the case of a collaborative natural resource management group, an association of
watershed partnerships in the State of Hawai‘i consisting of ten partnerships across five islands. The study
explores the decision-making process through the activities and management outcomes of this collaborative
group, through the lenses of equity, efficiency, democracy, and ecological integrity -- all prevalent and
widely endorsed, yet at times possibly conflicting, rationales for working in groups to address common
goals, especially in the case of environmental management. Rationale, for this research represents the sets
of underlying motivations utilized by various stakeholders participating in and/or evaluating these efforts.
The research looks at the extent to which Hawai‘i’s watershed partnerships are successful at managing
upper watershed areas through four rationale-based theories of change. The four theories of change,
stemming from a unique implementation theory (characterized as activities) inform the evaluative
framework within which the collaborative effort is assessed. Results from the research demonstrate that
despite being restrictive in regard to membership, Hawai‘i’s Watershed Partnerships fare more favorably
when assessed under an equity and democracy rationale than through an efficiency or ecological integrity
rationale. However, the study finds that as collaborative processes ideally include broad representation to
promote collective goals, evaluating the success of collaborative efforts should also reflect the broad and
variable motivations and values of multiple stakeholders, and should also employ a variety of approaches
to measure their outcomes.
Description:Ph.D. Thesis. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa 2018.
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Urban and Regional Planning

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