How context affects international projects: the cases of Dutch-Romanian cooperation on flood risk management

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Many countries around the world are confronted with a considerable increase of floods and flood risks. The exchange of knowledge may be beneficial but requires careful consideration of contextual factors. This paper explores the relation between contextual factors and the effectiveness of international knowledge transfers. It is based on the assumption that wider, structural and project-specific contexts are only influential in as far as they influence the characteristics of actors involved. These characteristics are their motivations, cognitions and resources. Empirically, it builds upon the analysis of three Dutch-funded projects that involve the transfer of knowledge about flood risk management from the Netherlands to Romania. Analysis of these case studies highlights that contextual differences contribute to asymmetrical relations and may both enhance and hinder the effectiveness of such projects. It further confirms the crucial importance of institutional embedding, as a basis for the creation of political support and the mobilization of resources.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2011
EventIGS - SENSE Conference 2011: Resilient Societies - Governing Risk and Vulnerability: for Water, Energy and Climate Change - University of Twente, Enschede, Netherlands
Duration: 19 Oct 201121 Oct 2011


ConferenceIGS - SENSE Conference 2011


  • METIS-278919
  • Romania
  • Contextual Interaction Theory
  • Effectiveness
  • Policy transfer
  • international assistance
  • IR-80260

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