Policy Brief n°6 - Everyday Politics of Water: From Water Reform Policies to Water Resource Configurations in Rural Africa.


August 2017 - Jeltsje Sanne Kemerink-Seyoum, PhD as Research Network Consolidated Grants Recipient


Often to the disappointment of policy makers, water flows in agriculture seldom follow policy directives. Especially given the notoriously capricious nature of water, relatively little is known what happens between government's policies on paper and everyday water management practices within rural waterscapes. This paper zooms in on this ‘grey’ area, in a concerted attempt to identify and shed light on spaces of negation, tinkering and bricolage and how this affect the implementation of agricultural water policies.

This policy brief is based on empirical research in four African countries which have implemented institutional reform processes during the last two decades. The policy brief concludes with an attempt to formulate three concrete suggestions that could help in revisiting the current policies within the agricultural water realm in the hope it will contribute to redressing historical inequities.

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