IFM Principles

Ensure a participatory approach

  • IFM should be based on a participatory approach involving floodplain users, planners and policy-makers at all levels and should be open, transparent, inclusive and communicative. Sharing responsibilities and accountability among all levels of government and communities is imperative as the burden of risk management cannot be carried by one level or group of stakeholders alone.
  • Decentralization of decision-making facilitates full public consultation and involvement of stakeholders in planning and implementation. However, "over-decentralization" bears the risk of ignoring up- and downstream consequences of measures and may lead to the shifting of flood risk.
  • Gender, religious and cultural differences must be taken into consideration.
  • An appropriate combination of both the "bottom-up" and "top-down" approaches needs to be adopted.
  • Engagement of stakeholders is a long and costly process and needs to be planned appropriately, which becomes relatively simpler if certain basic tenets are followed. The figure below shows schematically how the number of actors involved is influenced by the basic type of participation chosen.



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Figure adapted from van Beek (2004)