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Date: 2022-07-04 Page is: DBtxt001.php txt00017676

Thinking
Tim Gieseke

Governance as the “New Policy Strategy” for Ag-Environmental Issues

Burgess COMMENTARY

Peter Burgess
Governance as the “New Policy Strategy” for Ag-Environmental Issues



Sustaining agriculture landscapes requires the right mix of policy and governance. While policy options seem unlimited, governance strategies or models seem non-existent.

What is the Policy and Governance Connection? – Pick your metaphor...
  • If Policy is the conflict, Governance is the resolution
  • If Policy is choosing the seed, Governance is planting, cultivating and harvesting the crop
  • If Policy is what needs to get done, Governance is how it actually gets done
  • If Policy is the weight, Governance is the heavy lifting.
During the last decade there has been an increase in ag-environmental policies by legislators, government regulators, drinking water utilities and corporate supply chains. This policy momentum is well-established and organized, yet the accompanying governance strategies are vague. To effectively steer the governance for better policy outcomes, one must understand the fundamentals and potential of today’s governance options.

The compass above represents the totality of those involved in landscape governance: Public Policy-Makers (legislators, agency staff), Private Policy-Makers (NGO, Corporate Supply Chain), Public Practitioners (conservationists, extension agents) and Private Practitioners (farmers, foresters, agronomists). Each has definable roles and relationships to achieve outcomes at the landscape scale.

Never before in human history has so many organizations with different [and conflicting] governance styles existed side-by-side while working on common objectives Tim Gieseke’s experience as a practitioner and policy analyst at the local, state, national and international level during the last two decades has provided a unique understanding of how governance strategies are a key to the success/failure of projects and policies. Whether in a private consultation, an organizational meeting or a keynote, Tim can present the topic of governance in user-friendly terms to empower a group or enlighten an audience.

A newly created Governance Compass© is used to describe governance by revealing:
  • Four sectors of governance actors and their roles
  • Three governance styles and the types of organizations adopting them
  • How shifts in governance styles addresses evolving needs
  • The inherent governance conflicts and how to avoid them
  • Governance footprints and how it gives clues to success or difficulties
Understanding how these mix together is to understand the logistics of managing and influencing governance in any complex system.

In his most upcoming book, Shared Governance for Sustainable Working Landscapes, Tim uses several well-known sustainability projects as case studies (Field to Market, The Sustainability Consortium, Ag Water Quality Certainty Program, Chesapeake Bay BMP Verification, United Suppliers’ SUSTAIN, EPRI WQ Trading and others) to describe agriculture sustainability governance strategies. They are all relatively new efforts and none have yet defined governance from a multi-stakeholder perspective.

A review of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River states’ Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategies revealed none contained a governance strategy. In these and most other cases, governance just happens. It is very common for efforts to not have a succinct and coherent governance strategy using the governance fundamentals described above. And it is understandable why they do not, but it is increasingly necessary for such comprehensive projects to begin the governance strategy process.

Contact Tim to discuss how your organization can step into this “new policy space” with confidence. Tim’s unique governance assessment tools allows for a very quick learning curve to reach governance competency. These complex socio-economic issues in our now interconnected world lead many to proclaim that “governance is a topic whose time has come”.

Shared Governance for Sustainable Working Landscapes is being published by Taylor & Francis/CRC Press and is expected to be out in Fall 2016

Report this Published by Tim Gieseke Tim Gieseke President, AgRS, LLC Published • 4y 38 articles
Tim Gieseke ... President, AgRS, LLC
Published on January 13, 2016 (Accessed November 2019)
The text being discussed is available at

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