“We are an island nation with our backs to the sea…we need to transition to a better and more sustainable coastal future. The complex web of governance is daunting.”
The objectives include analysis of:
The one-year data collection phase of this research was completed in Autumn 2018 and analysis of the results is ongoing. Current coastal governance arrangements which operate in the UK have been assessed, focusing on the role of participatory and collaborative governance mechanisms and their socio-legal context to improve coastal stewardship.
The main method employed by the research was an iterative process to explore areas of consensus (and dissensus) amongst UK experts about future direction, known as a Delphi method. This enabled the collection of qualitative and quantitative data using mixed methods of analysis to explore the results.
This ongoing research is being undertaken by Natasha Bradshaw as part of a PhD – funded by the International Water Security Network – at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol).
Initial results, based on the verification (Round #3) survey, include the following headline recommendations. Participants expressed consensus (>70%) around the following needs:
Across the five areas of investigation, here are some further insights into the results so far. These recommendations are based on the final verification survey in which 89 coastal/marine experts participated:
1. Approach to Governance
2. Collaboration to Strengthen Governance
3. Organisations and the Institutional Framework
4. Marine Planning
5. Coastal Stewardship
This is just a flavour of the results – there is much more detail which can be shared later in 2019.
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Further Background – Research Method
The research process was based on the Delphi method with three rounds of enquiry (three online surveys and a workshop). It enabled a group of relevant experts from disparate locations to engage in a collective dialogue and be part of the research and its outcomes. Over 170 people engaged at the outset, offering over 3,000 years of collective experience of UK coastal governance. They were asked for their opinion on:
Over 50% of the 170 Round #1 participants (n=89) continued through the Round #2 survey and onto the final Round #3 verification survey in Autumn 2018, which was verified by 89 participants. Of those, 21 met in a final workshop to discuss implementation actions. The results of the Delphi process and workshop recommendations are available in a Summary Report.
At the outset of the research, over 80% of the participants said they undertook professional work relating to the coast every day or weekly (96 daily and 41 at least weekly). Their expertise is more based on marine (34%) and coastal (28%) as opposed to terrestrial (6%) experience, but 24% of respondents felt their experience spanned terrestrial, marine and coastal areas. A broad range of sectoral interests were represented, including business, commerce, conservation, extractives, fisheries, government, landscape, leisure, NGO, ports, research and utilities. Representation was sought from participants across the UK – each devolved country (Scotland, Wales, NI), and each of the four coastal regions (NW, SW, NE, SE) of England – plus a small proportion from further afield with exceptional knowledge of coastal governance in the UK.
If you’d like to sign-up to receive notifications about key milestones in the research and receive email notifications for access to the results, please email Natasha. Your details will not be disclosed to any other party and will be exclusively used for occasional updates on this research during 2018-2019 (you can unsubscribe at any time).