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Consultancy firms and the circulation of policy paradigms: roles, responsibilities and impacts

  • 1 November, 2020
  • VU University Amsterdam, Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM); in collaboration with ARCADIS (Host institution)
  • Prof. Dave Huitema
  • Dr. Nicolas Jager & Ms. Nynke Schaap / Ms. Jolijn Posma

Increasingly attention is paid to the global circulation of ideas on water governance. The role of environmental consultancy firms in that process deserves more attention, something that this ESR project will accomplish. Building on existing frameworks on policy intervention, diffusion, and adoption, boundary work, policy entrepreneurship, policy evaluation, etc. the project will seek to develop a conceptual model of the role of consultancy firms, containing several potential hypotheses on how and when consultancy firms influence water governance debates. The subsequent empirical research will focus on the real-life impact of consultancy firms on a number of critical processes in the circulation of ideas on water governance, notably the translation of academic ideas into actionable proposals for new governance technologies, the role of consultancy firms in uploading them to international institutions and downloading them to local and regional jurisdictions, and their role in the evaluation of novel approaches and communicating about their performance. The project is explicitly aimed to create reflexive insights for consultancy firms and to co-develop normative guidance on how the industry could further improve their role in the global circulation of ideas.

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Alejandra Burchard Levine

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