Michael R. DiGregorio
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Political Economy Analysis of the Teesta River Basin03/20/2013
Water governance throughout South Asia has long been dominated by technical perspectives from civil engineering, economics, and international law. Across the region, state actors, scientists, and technocrats have monopolized policy formulation and implementation providing limited space for the expression of legitimate civil society voices and stakeholder interests. In this largely state driven discourse, broader social and ecological perspectives have been underrepresented. Bringing the discourse on water use, sharing, and management closer to affected communities and stakeholders can help to reduce environmental degradation.
In May 2012, with support from the Skoll Global Threats Fund, The Asia Foundation in partnership with civil society organizations in India and Bangladesh began a political economy analysis of the Teesta River Basin. To try and unpack the interests around water governance in the Teesta Basin, the analysis sought to identify and map key actors and stakeholders in the basin, their incentives, relative stakes, and their ability to influence water governance decisions in the basin.