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Collaborative approaches have become the norm for watershed management. In countries around the world, stakeholders representing a diverse array of perspectives and organizations are coming together to reach consensus on an integrated set of integrate goals and strategies. However, many of these efforts have struggled to translate these approaches into action. This paper addresses one important factor for implementation success—the quality of the outputs. The literature on collaborative approaches emphasizes the need for high quality agreements and a structured approach to implementation, but the literature is vague on what these terms mean. Based on extensive case study research in the U.S. and Australia, the author adapts criteria from the policy implementation literature to more clearly define a high quality agreement, including: clear goals, a sound theory for intervention, the integration of planning objectives with other policy objectives, and support from stakeholders and the public. The author also uses the case study findings and institutional analysis literature to identify the factors important to effective implementation structures, including: well-articulated structures and processes for facilitating ongoing coordination among collaborating organizations, and structures and processes that allow coordination among both organizational administrators and operational staff. By more clearly specifying the quality of these outputs, it is proposed that the effectiveness of implementation outcomes can be improved.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2002-01-01

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