Adaptive Co-Management

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Nancy Doubleday:

"Adaptive co-management is a paradigm of governance, learning and management that builds upon the principles of adaptive management. The Resiliance Alliance explains that the "Novelty of adaptive co-management comes from combining the iterative learning dimension of adaptive management and the linkage dimension of collaborative management in which rights and responsibilities are jointly shared. Complementarities among concepts of collaboration and adaptive management encourage an approach to governance that encompasses complexity and cross-scale linkages, and the process of dynamic learning. Adaptive co-management thus offers considerable appeal in light of the complex systems view. In this regard, adaptive co-management has been described as an emergent and self-organizing process facilitated by rules and incentives of higher levels, with the potential to foster more robust social-ecological systems." Adaptive co-management assumes that change is an inherent property of systems, whether the system being considered is social, cultural, ecological or a hybrid.

In the context of social innovation, the adaptive co-manager role is about midwifery. The adaptive co-manager guides, supports, and encourages the process of emergence into the world of something new, whether it is an idea, a management arrangement, a decision or any other entity. The adaptive co-manager role enables the process of the actors engaged in engendering. The role may involve undertaking a wide range of activities from the relatively passive to the clearly active. Like a practicing midwife, the adaptive co-manager role provides a safe environment for innovation to emerge that might not survive unaided. However, this role does not pre-determine the content or the nature of that emergent form. " (

More Information

  1. Adaptive Co-Management: Collaboration, Learning, and Multi-Level Governance