Innovation in irrigation – working in a ‘participation complex’
Irrigation management has some particular challenges in participatory research because it involves collective action where different interests may be present. Large-scale irrigation systems create particular challenges in participatory approaches to innovation, because of the large number of water users and the different ideas on participation and innovation present with different stakeholders involved in transforming irrigation practices. Using examples from an irrigation management reform programme in the Terai of Nepal, this case study summarizes operational elements of the socio-technical approach to irrigation research, which can show how technology acts as a controlling and mediating factor between biophysical and societal conditions. It is also useful as a method to identify stakeholders, their work practices and their interactions.