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Decision and Policy Analysis Research Area – DAPA

Call for abstracts/papers – The Fifth “Workshop on the Ostrom Workshop” (WOW5), Indiana University, 18-21 June 2014

The Fifth “Workshop on the Ostrom Workshop” (WOW5),


Abstract Submission Deadline: Friday, December 6th, 2013, GMT

A team of researchers in DAPA will be organizing a working group on multi-level governance of natural resources during the Fifth “Workshop on the Ostrom Workshop” (WOW5) to be held at Indiana University in Bloomington between June 18-21, 2014. The topic of the Working Group is “The relevance and practical application of multi-level governance arrangements for managing natural resources”  and proposals for contributions via oral presentations are now accepted. Please find below the details about the WOW5, as well as the Working Group that the DAPA team will be facilitating.


The WOW Conference is held every five years by The Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop in Political theory and Policy Analysis. The Fifth “Workshop on the Ostrom Workshop” (WOW5) continues its effort to bridge interdisciplinary approaches and research in face of complex interactions between social and natural systems, so as to better understand the limitations and strengths of self-governing institutions linked to various types of resources. The event is organized around Working Groups that will discuss various topics related to Vincent and Elinor Ostrom’s work. This is an excellent opportunity to share ideas and experiences on methodologies, theories and frameworks for analyzing common pool resources (CPRs) and other relevant research linked to how to best approach the social dilemmas related to the management of CPRs.

The Working Group (WG) on “The relevance and practical application of multi-level governance arrangements for managing natural resources” aims to gather empirical, interdisciplinary insights into the design, functioning and impacts of multi-level governance (MLG) institutional arrangements on the sustainable use, management and conservation of natural resources (forest, fisheries, pastures, etc.) around the world.

Background and objectives of the Working Group

Up to date, there have been extensive empirical evidence documenting institutions and arrangements that are unfit to meet the challenges associated with complex socio-ecological systems. While researchers, practitioners and policy-makers have tried to provide various answers to such misfits via decentralized, adaptive arrangements and multi-level governance initiatives, on-the-ground realities have repeatedly confirmed the elusiveness of such concepts. The pertinence of transferring theoretical concepts and approaches into practice is put to the test by a series of methodological and empirical questions: Who should receive more voice in the design and implementation of multi-level governance institutional arrangements? How should different development sectors be integrated and prioritized, in order to guarantee the sustainability of complex socio-ecological systems? How to better integrate local collective systems with other levels of decision making, making sure that equity and fairness principles are respected? How should national, regional, and local policies be harmonized, so as to respond to challenges that occur within and outside their jurisdictions?

More specifically, in response to the questions outlined above, this Working Group aims to:

  • open up a debate on experiences from the field that successfully addressed gaps and disconnects between policies at various scales and on-ground natural resources conservation efforts
  • document policy interventions at various scales that are able, on one hand, to affect broader jurisdictions (crossing biophysical, political and/or social boundaries) and, on the other hand, reflect the vertical and horizontal diffusion of decision-making power in natural resource management and conservation
  • discuss how institutional arrangements at different levels (including policy processes) integrate local social and cultural perspectives on natural resources and how this integration (or absence  of it) impacts on resource use and conservation
  • converse on the broader role of multi-level governance arrangements in producing social and institutional change
  • propose and discuss different qualitative and quantitative methodological approaches that allow for the scaling-up of successful multi-level governance initiatives

Deadline for submission

We invite persons interested in sharing experiences related to one or more of the objectives outlined above to submit their abstracts by December 6, 2013.

Abstracts should not exceed 250 words and should be submitted online via the ABTSRACT SUBMISSION FORM: http://www.indiana.edu/~wow5/abstracts/form.html. When completing the form, you should select the WG: The relevance and practical application of multi-level governance arrangements for managing natural resources.

Organization of the Working Group

The WG will be facilitated by a group of researchers from the Decision and Policy Analysis Research Area (DAPA) of the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) who will provide insights on experiences with multi-level governance arrangements in the Colombian Amazon, aimed at managing and sustaining ecosystem services for food security. This experience is based on the project “Attaining Ecosystem Services through Trade-Off Scenarios – ASSETS”, funded by the Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) programme and implemented by CIAT, Conservation International, the University of Southampton and Dundee, the Basque Centre for Climate Change, and the Chancellor College Malawi, Rhodes University, Worldfish and LEAD Africa.

The session of the WG will be approximately 90 minutes and consists of:

  • 4 presentations, 15 minutes each
  • A Q&A and discussion session (30 minutes), where participants will have the opportunity to address questions to the panelists and discuss aspects addressed during the presentations.


For any question related to the Working Group, please contact a.c.nowak@cgiar.org  and c.navarrete@cgiar.org. For more information on the ASSETS project please visit: http://espa-assets.org/

You can also find more details about the WOW Conference at the following link: http://www.indiana.edu/~wow5/index.html

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