Balance: A Critical Principle in the Design of a Decentralized Decision Process


"A proposal for stakeholder involvement in fisheries management and decision making as the central strategy for fisheries management in Saskatchewan in the 1990s underwent public review between September 1990 and June 1991. The strategy was presented in broad, general terms, without proposing specific implementation details. Seven principles were suggested as a framework for local co-management structures and initiatives. Positive public response was strong, however some concern was raised about the lack of specific detail. This paper presents a brief case study of the recent Saskatchewan experience with public consultation regarding the establishment of a cooperative, decentralized decision process. Initial government rationale is presented, and public response discussed. The relationship between stability and equity provided by a central framework and flexibility and responsiveness of a cooperative localized process is considered. The paper concludes with a description of the actions proposed by the authors to find the balance required for a decision process which combines the stability and equity of a central framework with the flexibility and responsiveness of decentralization."



fisheries, decentralization, co-management, participatory management, IASC