Learning in Ressource Mangement: NGOs as critical freinds in societal learning processes

Birgitte Hoffmann, Annika Agger

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This paper explores the roles of NGOs as intermediaries in societal learning processes. The key question is how NGOs facilitate learning in the water sector, and the paper explores the notion of critical friends to grasp their dual position as both partner in the development and critical to the existing perceptions and strategies. The paper addresses the question posed through an analysis of the role of the Copenhagen Environment and Energy Office in the transition of the water sector in Copenhagen going from a supply system to a resource management system. The paper focuses on resource management and the involvement of households, whose average water consumption have decreased radically since the 80s. We explore the complexity of roles that this intermediary simultaneously performs when balancing between collaborative and critical positions: as translators of official policy, as frontrunners experimenting with technologies and practices and finally as challengers of exiting discourses and strategies. Societal learning is analysed in relation to 3 challenges in water management: Firstly in relation to water saving campaigns, secondly in relation to the utility’s development of new strategies and finally in relation to changes of the water management discourse. Developing the notion ‘critical friend’ the paper discusses how the NGO facilitates learning processes. Traditional approaches to learning are often based on the ‘petrol station pedagogy’ in which knowledge figuratively ‘are poured in to the learners’. Taking a social approach to learning the paper sees learning as social processes that can be stimulated when existing ideas, knowledge and practises are stimulated and challenged in an appropriate way. This identifies the competences of intermediaries to operate between ‘coalition building and critique’.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGlobal Environmental Change, Globalization and International Security : New Chalenges for the 21st Centory
Number of pages221
Place of PublicationBonn
Publication date2005
Publication statusPublished - 2005
EventThe 6th Open Meeting of the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change Research Community - University of Bonn
Duration: 1 Jan 2005 → …
Conference number: 6ht

Conference

ConferenceThe 6th Open Meeting of the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change Research Community
Number6ht
CityUniversity of Bonn
Period01/01/2005 → …

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