MAPs sq

In this section of FAIRWAYiS we discuss how to actively use and further develop the Multi-Actor Platforms (MAP) approach with actors at primarily case study level and to some extent national levels as a base for executing the FAIRWAY project in close dialogue and involvement with key actors to ensure relevancy and maximum impact. To track and analyse successes and failures of the MAP approach to advance beyond state of art the understanding of and practices of MAPs in such cases. We show how to:

  • ensure optimal involvement and engagement of the key actors, with clear roles for those engaged at case-study and national levels to ensure relevancy and maximum impact of the various research and innovation activities of the project;
  • train, facilitate and support the execution of MAPs processes to ensure maximum number of successful execution and deployment in the WPs;
  • and revise and upgrade of Water Safety Plans in several case studies with actively use of MAPs.

** this overview was given in D2.5. To be adapted to form an intro to this section

In order to harvest lessons from the FAIRWAY MAPs on successes and challenges for meaningful engagement processes, a series of methodological data-collection exercises were carried out. The results of these exercises comprise the data for the subsequent analyses.

A. Quick scans (2017) At the start of the project, the respective MAP coordinators filled in a “Quick scan” for basic information on case studies, governance structures & multi-actor platforms. This gave a general overview of the context of each MAP, but also a snapshot of respective engagement processes at the outset of the project.

B. Mapping of dimensions (2017) A year into the FAIRWAY project each case study was asked to rank their MAP according to the key dimensions in the framework for multi-actor engagement processes. This will be revisited before the project ends to enable a tracking of changes through the duration of the project.

C. Engagement plans (2018) As part of the project’s support for developing and nurturing multi-actor processes, each case submitted an engagement plan with details on plans for engagement in term of actors included and the process of engagement throughout the project. These are submitted separately as project deliverable D2.1.

D. Activity logs (2018, 2019) All cases have reported on meetings held in their respective MAPs, including the purpose, participants and outcomes of activities.

E. MAP analyses (2019) All MAPs were in 2019 asked to carry out either a survey or a set of interviews as input to the overarching MAP analyses. The aim of this exercise was to get feedback from MAP participants on the performance and functioning of the respective MAPs, and to enable the harvesting of lessons and best practice. A set of questions relating to the chosen framework for dimensions of engagement was developed and shared with all MAPs to form the basis for this exercise (Annex I.). Each case has been free to tailor these questions to their respective context for either surveys or interviews.

Note: The extensive information given here is complete scientific results of the FAIRWAY project, as presented in the project deliverables. Deliverables are being written and added to the website throughout the period of the project, until it ends in November 2021. The availablility of and access to the scientific results is indicated in the introductions to each section

 Public access 
 Restricted access  (for project partners only, to allow authors time to publish their results)
 Not available yet  (the research is still underway)



Main authors: Cors van den Brink, Sarah Zernitz, Alma de Vries
Editor: Jane Brandt
Source document: van den Brink, C. et al. (2021) Lessons Learned and Recommendations for Water Safety Plans. FAIRWAY Project Deliverable 2.4, 97 pp


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Main authors: Frode Sundnes, Cors van den Brink, Morten Graversgaard
iSQAPERiS editor: Jane Brandt
Source document: Sundnes, F et al. (2020) Advancing MAPs as vehicles for resolving issues on drinking water pollution from agriculture. FAIRWAY Project Deliverable 2.5R, 56 pp


In this section of FAIRWAYiS we critically assess the multi-actor platform engagement processes in ten of FAIRWAY's case studies. We look at lessons learned and map opportunities and bottlenecks for meaningful engagement, shed light on challenges and how they have been addressed, and explore the future sustainability of the engagement platforms beyond the lifetime of the project.

Public participation and stakeholder involvement have long been considered central in policy and planning processes. FAIRWAY's MAPs are either engagement platforms that pre-existed the project and which have been brought in to contribute to the research themes, or they have been set up under the auspices of the project. We discuss the framework of dimensions we have used for analysis of meaningful engagement processes.
»Multi-actor engagement

In 2019 all MAPs carried out either a survey or a set of interviews to provide input to the FAIRWAY's MAP analyses. The aim of this exercise was to get feedback from MAP participants on the performance and functioning of the MAPs, and to enable the harvesting of lessons and best practice.
»Case-wise methods for analyses of multi-actor platforms

Issues of trust between participants and actors is flagged as a cross-cutting issue, relating to all other dimensions of engagement, requiring facilitation and long-term commitment. Across the project, the MAPs seem successful in creating arenas for dialogue and exchange of information and viewpoints. However, three years into the project many of the MAPs are still short of seeing real impact of the processes in terms of reaching established goals. There is evidence from some MAPs that the lack of impact might jeopardise the engagement processes, creating disappointment or fatigue on the part of the participating actors. It is reported that building relationships and fostering good relations and common understanding requires long-term commitment and takes time. When coupled with awareness-raising amongst key actors, it also takes time for change to take place, for instance the changing farming practices. Voluntariness in terms of implementation of measures is considered something that can help in the trust-building process, but that also constitutes a barrier for effective implementation. There are also apparent differences in perspectives within the MAPs, on whether the facilitation of dialogues is to be considered a success-factor in itself, or whether success only can be determined when there are real impacts with reference to set goals.  
»Analysis and discussion


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