Comparative Analysis on Adaptive Water Governance

What features of water governance systems support their ability to adapt to climate change and to what extent can governance approaches be transferred across river basins? To answer these questions, the partners of the Twin2Go project carried out a unique comparative analysis of governance


The comparative analysis has shown that polycentric governance systems in particular provide good foundation for adaptation to climate change. Governments and international donors should therefore promote water sector reforms that support the distribution of functions, responsibilities and authority among different levels of administration and at the same time provide for effective coordination - across administrative levels and across sectors. Transferring governance practices from one river basin to another, however, requires patience as new approaches might take many years to fully mature. A gradual implementation can help to successively build up acceptance and the capacities required The Twin2Go Policy Briefs do not only provide recommendations for improving water governance systems’ ability to adapt to climate change but also discuss possibilities to support implementation and transfer of so called best practices across river basins.

The project Twin2Go was funded by the European Commission under its 7th Research Framework Programme from June 2009 until September 2011. The Policy Briefs as well as detailed research reports can be downloaded from the project’s website. In addition, the “Twin2Go Water Governance Database” ( provides systematic access to the data of 29 case studies. This online database allows interested experts to add further case studies and thus provides the opportunity to continue and enhance the comparative study of water governance systems started in Twin2Go.