Articles | Volume 13, issue 6
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 13, 1427–1444, 2013

Special issue: Building social capacities for natural hazards: an emerging...

Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 13, 1427–1444, 2013

Research article 05 Jun 2013

Research article | 05 Jun 2013

How much does participatory flood management contribute to stakeholders' social capacity building? Empirical findings based on a triangulation of three evaluation approaches

M. Buchecker1, S. Menzel1, and R. Home1,2 M. Buchecker et al.
  • 1Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, Group Social Science in Landscape Research, Zürcherstrasse 111, 8903 Birmensdorf, Switzerland
  • 2Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FIBL), Ackerstrasse 21, 5070 Frick, Switzerland

Abstract. Recent literature suggests that dialogic forms of risk communication are more effective to build stakeholders' hazard-related social capacities. In spite of the high theoretical expectations, there is a lack of univocal empirical evidence on the relevance of these effects. This is mainly due to the methodological limitations of the existing evaluation approaches. In our paper we aim at eliciting the contribution of participatory river revitalisation projects on stakeholders' social capacity building by triangulating the findings of three evaluation studies that were based on different approaches: a field-experimental, a qualitative long-term ex-post and a cross-sectional household survey approach. The results revealed that social learning and avoiding the loss of trust were more relevant benefits of participatory flood management than acceptance building. The results suggest that stakeholder involvements should be more explicitly designed as tools for long-term social learning.