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Title: Understanding the needs of institutions for the development of "Decision Aids" for water resource management : learning from the Ruaha basin, Tanzania
Author: Cour, Julien Gael
ISNI:       0000 0004 2735 1468
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2010
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Today in Africa, water resources must be managed in an integrated manner. This is the message put forward by donors and governments in the last decades. Under Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM), water managers are requested to recognise the value of water as a social and economic development factor without threatening natural ecosystems and to take decisions with full public consultation. Much effort has gone into developing computer-based Decision Aids (DAs) with the aim to support agencies in implementing IWRM. But their design is challenging and there are still few examples of practical applications. The present thesis assessed the development and application of a DA model as a tool for water resources management in Africa, through a case study in the Upper Great Ruaha River Catchment, Tanzania. DA‟s ability to fit IWRM‟s requirements was examined and software engineering approaches were used with the aim to contribute to DA development sciences. Methods combined end-user participatory appraisal with the development of a DA in an iterative fashion and the testing of two successive versions. Results show that water managers needed a DA which could help narrowing down the knowledge gap that exists between water availability on the one hand, and water use and allocation on the other hand. This key result justified to streamline research on an “Exploratory DA” (user-oriented), as opposed to a “Research DA”. Exploratory DAs were found to enable users to explore potential solutions and increase their understanding of the water resource management system. Software engineering methods were useful in adapting to users‟ demand. Yet, exploratory DAs are not management tools in the sense of performance improvement, but rather “companion tools” aiming at improving the understanding of users before assisting them to take informed decisions. Unless this is achieved, results show that African water resources are at risk.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available