Governance & Political Innovation Projects

    Our goal is to improve the effectiveness and inclusiveness of governance and connectivity across corporate, government and non-government sectors.
    Governance projects

    ARC Discovery Project (DP130104842)

    Conflicting temporalities of climate governance: A comparative sociology of policy design and operationalisation in Australia and the UK

    Indicative funding: $237,865 over 3 years

    This research will investigate the ways in which climate governance both reflects and reconstitutes our understanding of the temporal dynamics of anthropogenic climate change. Through a comparative case study of Australia and the UK, the project aims to promote a deeper understanding of potential contradictions between the temporalities of global environmental change and the temporalities of governance strategies developed in response to it: to develop a more sophisticated sociological theorization of the temporalities of socio-ecological change; and to contribute to informed debate in Australia and elsewhere concerning the utility of key conceptual frameworks and policy instruments.

    Investigator: Stewart Lockie

    Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities: National Environmental Research Program (NERP)

    Conservation planning for a changing coastal zone (Project 9.4)

    Indicative funding: $207,860 over 4 years

    The broad goal of this project is to identify strategic priorities for protection and restoration of coastal ecosystems that support the health and resilience of the GBRWHA, in the context of changing land use, expanding infrastructure, and climate change. More specifically, the project will address three limitations of previous research and application in conservation planning. First, conservation planning has focused principally on snapshots of biodiversity and land uses, as if planning regions were static. Approaches to conservation planning are being developed to address natural and anthropogenic dynamics1, and these approaches will be adapted and extended by this project. Second, few exercises in conservation planning have attempted to address the physical and biological interactions between land and sea and the cross-realm impacts of human activities. This project will advance land-sea planning and guide planners and managers in resolving tradeoffs between conservation objectives for terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments. Third, the implementation of effective actions in priority areas identified by conservation planning has been hampered by complex, conflicting governance (especially in coastal zones), poor understanding of real-world opportunities for and constraints on management, and lack of engagement with stakeholders. This project will link cutting-edge methods for explicit conservation planning to analysis of governance, new spatial data on management.

    Chief Investigators: Bob Pressey, Hugh Yorkston, Allan Dale, Jon Brodie
    Collaborating Schools/Institutions: ARC CoE Coral Reef Studies; Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority; The Cairns Institute; Australian Centre for Tropical Freshwater Research


    ARC Linkage Project (LP130100933)

    The impact of governance on regional natural resource planning

    Indicative funding: $180,000

    The management of natural resources in regional Australia is challenged by complex decision-making and poorly integrated planning systems at the federal, state and local levels. This project will develop an evaluation framework to assess the effectiveness of planning and natural resource management governance at the regional scale.

    Chief Investigators: Douglas Baker, Neil Sipe, Severine Mayere, Karen Vella, Bruce Taylor, Richard Margerum, Allan Dale, Andrew Drysdale, Lucy Richardson, Kathryn Fletcher, Elyse Riethmuller, David Hinchley, Patricia Gowdie

    Collaborating Institutions: Queensland University of Technology (Administering Organisation); Terrain Natural Resource Management; NQ Dry Tropics; Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation; Queensland Regional Natural Resource Management Groups Collective; Condamine Alliance; Fitzroy Basin Association Incorporated; Queensland Murray-Darling Committee Inc; The Cairns Institute

    Project newsletter October 2015    Project newsletter April 2016

    Department of the Environment - National Environmental Science Program (NESP) - Tropical Water Quality Hub (TWQ Hub)

    The IMS 2050 Human Dimensions Project: Cost-effective Indicators and Metrics for key GBRWHA Human Dimensions and Indigenous Values Linked to Objectives and Targets in the Reef 2050 Plan

    Indicative funding: $125,000 over 3 years

    Building on the work of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) Reef Integrated Monitoring and Reporting Program (RIMReP) Program Design Group, this project will develop cost-effective indicators and metrics for human dimension outcomes, objectives and targets in the Reef 2050 Plan, consistent with the Drivers-Pressures-State-Impact-Response (DPSIR) framework. It will add value to and ensure continuity with information collected through the Social and Economic Long-Term Monitoring Program for the Great Barrier Reef (SeLTMP). The project will: determine potential and extant indicator sets; evaluate data collection cost-effectiveness; determine thresholds (where applicable); and provide guidelines for a collaborative approach for developing grading scores, using multiple lines of evidence to rate progress towards Reef 2050 Plan targets, objectives and outcomes.

    Chief Investigators: Allan Dale, Rosemary Hill and Leah Talbot with the help of Margaret Gooch, Karen Vella and Nadine Marshall (The Cairns Institute, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Queensland University of Technology and Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation)

    National Environmental Science Prog (NESP)

    Monitoring and adaptively reducing system-wide governance risks facing the GBR (Project 3.11)

    Indicative funding: $55,537

    Australian governments have addressed water quality issues in the Great Barrier Reef Reef) over the last decade. While much has improved, more is needed. Reef environmental outcomes, however, depend on the interplay among diverse/fragmented governance “activities” (e.g. water allocation, ports-planning, regional NRM). Despite being recognized in the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan (LTSP), there is no coordinated system for benchmarking/monitoring the health of the overall Reef governance system/constituent activities. NERP supported a new method for doing so. This project both delivers short term influence over key Commonwealth and State (i.e. GBR Taskforce) decisions regarding management and investment and engages new LTSP implementation/review structures and stakeholders to build commitment to institutionalizing this method over the longer. Outputs will be directly integrated into and inform five-yearly Outlook reporting.

    Investigators: Allan Dale, Karen Vella (The Cairns Institute; Queensland University of Technology)


    North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance Ltd (NAILSMA)

    1. Northern Australia policy development and sector development
    2. Northern Gulf community development

    Indicative funding: $40,000

    1. This project will develop a policy discussion paper concerning potential for a pan-northern Indigenous response to the Northern Australia White Paper that will support NAILSMA to engage with the wider Indigenous community and negotiate key outcomes with the Commonwealth Government.

    2. This project will support ANGIC to strengthen its governance arrangements to enable the development of critical economic and regional economic opportunities among its key traditional owner member groups.

    Chief Investigator: Allan Dale, The Cairns Institute


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