Scientific Publication

Explaining shifts in adaptive water management using a gendered multi-level perspective (MLP): a case study from the Nile Delta of Egypt


Understanding the logic behind farmers' choice of adaptive water management practice is important to appreciate the opportunities and challenges they face and to scale targeted solutions effectively. This paper aims to understand the main drivers of change that induce adaptation in water management. The Multi-Level Perspective (MLP) framework that juxtaposed the within and across micro-, meso-, and macro-level drivers was applied to a case study of the Nile Delta to identify key drivers of change and farmers' adaptive responses. The framework helped in contextualizing key gender, temporal, and spatial dimensions of the drivers, and to identify their individual and interactive effects on farmers' adaptation decisions. We find that farmers' gender-differential water management choices are influenced not only by the individual changes in the three spheres of influence but also their interactions. The study highlights the benefits of using MLP to identify challenges that should often be tackled simultaneously to improve agricultural water delivery and use. We demonstrated that adaptation choices in water management are more sustainable when farmers' decisions are supported by enabling environments, including local regulations, norms, national institutional frameworks, and policies. They are also informed by and responsive to global trends such as climate change and markets