A new study in SAGE Open makes no bones about climate change as a wicked management problem. Urging a dynamic approach, the study zeroes in on Ghana as an opportunity for adapting water management to climate change.
John FitzGibbon and Kenneth O. Mensah, both of the University of Guelph, published “Climate Change as a Wicked Problem: An Evaluation of the Institutional Context for Rural Water Management in Ghana” on May 25, 2012 in SAGE Open. To read more recent articles, click here.
Understanding complexity suggests that some problems are more complex than others and defy conventional solutions. These wicked problems will not be solved by the same tools and processes that are complicit in creating them. Neither will they be resolved by approaches short on explicating the complex interconnections of the multiple causes, consequences, and cross-scale actors of the problem. Climate change is one such wicked problem confronting water management in Ghana with a dilemma. The physical consequences of climate change on Ghana’s water resources are progressively worsening. At the same time, existing institutional arrangements demonstrate weak capacities to tackle climate change–related complexities in water management. Therefore, it warrants a dynamic approach imbued with complex and adaptive systems thinking, which also capitalizes on instrumental gains from prior existing institutions. Adaptive Co-Management offers such an opportunity for Ghana to adapt its water management system to climate change.
Click here to receive email alerts whenever a new article or issue becomes available online.