Although social learning is a key element of multilevel flood risk governance, it is hardly studied. This paper addresses this knowledge gap. The paper aims to identify enabling conditions for social learning in multilevel flood risks governance arrangements.We first conceptualize social learning and draw up a conceptual framework consisting of enabling conditions for social learning, using the literature on adaptive co-management, sustainable land and water management, and integrated flood risk management. Next, we apply this framework to analyze social learning in the context of the Dutch Room for the River program. Our interview results reveal that social learning about integrated flood protection measures took place at multiple levels. We found that a strong personal commitment to learning and mutual interpersonal trust in working groups are key conditions for successful social learning. Based on our analysis, we conclude with some recommendations for enhancing social learning processes in future flood protection programs.

Integrated flood risk management, Multilevel governance, Room for the River program, Social learning,
Water (Switzerland)
International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS)

den Boer, J. (Jacomien), Dieperink, C. (Carel), & Mukhtarov, F. (Farhad). (2019). Social learning in multilevel flood risk governance: Lessons from the Dutch Room for the River Program. Water (Switzerland), 11(10). doi:10.3390/w11102032