Articles | Volume 13, issue 6
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. Buchecker, S. Menzel, and R. Home

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.