Environmental Engineering Reference
5.2 Why Does Statistical Signi
cance not Always Equate
with What Is Politically Expedient?
Once data have been collected, one needs to be creative about analysis. The
emphasis could be on identifying messages and strategies for engagement and
presentation that enable us to use evidence to influence decision-making. The focus
should be on identifying and conveying information that is politically nuanced and
where required backed up with rigorous data analysis. Information is key and data
and data analysis is a means to help us de
ne the message for decision-makers who
in many situations have to make political choices. For example, what strategies can
we employ to highlight the public health impacts of inadequate water and waste
management? What strategies can we employ to engage with decision-makers at
multiple levels (catchment- regional, watershed-district, village-farm, household-
plot) on choices related to allocation of
financial resources, soil conservation
practices or water/waste management strategies?
5.3 Institutional Arrangements and Governance Structures:
Based on the examination of trends relating to evolution of the nexus concept and
subsequent discussions held as part of the international kick-off workshop in
Dresden, the following hypotheses have been identi
ed, They can serve to guide
UNU-FLORES in articulating key elements of a research and education programme
that advances the nexus approach to management of water, soil and waste resources
(Kurian and Ardakanian 2014 ).
1. Management of water, waste and soil resources could be guided by principles
of efficiency, equity and environmental sustainability.
2. The nexus approach to management of environmental resources will be
advanced by employing approaches, strategies and methodologies that pursue
the effective management of trade-offs, promotion of synergies and identifi-
cation of opportunities for resource optimisation.
3. The nexus approach can enhance the possibility of integrated management of
environmental resources by identifying through trial and error factors that
influence governance of water, soil and waste resources that lie at the inter-
section of: (a) spatial dynamics of material fluxes, (b) socio-ecological differ-
ences in resource use and (c) rules that guide allocation of public
4. The nexus approach to management of water, waste and soil resources is
premised on the fact that there are no blueprint solutions to complex socio-
ecological challenges. Instead, solutions have to be crafted at the appropriate
scale: IWRM, decentralization and participation may prove to be selectively
useful strategies in different environmental and socio-political contexts.