Research methodology

The novel approach that we will be testing integrates tools from different disciplines, i.e. narratives, modelling & drought analysis, and science-policy interfacing. For each of these we use state-of-the art tools that have been developed in previous projects.

1) We will use narrative techniques to explore stories that culturally express the values and perspectives of diverse groups. We will not only collect narratives of past drought events, but will also facilitate active creation of future drought narratives in a creative experimentation process based on model scenarios.

2) The SHETRAN modelling software, which has previously been applied in contrasting settings around the world , allows for developing hypothetical future scenarios of drought and human water use. The innovative aspect of the CreativeDrought project is the inclusion of narratives and the iterative process of model development with users.

3) Finally, we go beyond the Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) concept and adopt recent suggestions for more equitable approaches to water management in our science-policy interfacing. Here, the innovation lays in the integration of future drought narratives in water management.

Our methodology needs to be adapted to the local setting. For example, we are aware that different groups in communities use different forms of narratives, e.g. the older generation uses oral stories, biographies, and songs, whereas the younger generation is more engaged in video, social media, and theatre.

The project is very timely as the region is currently in a state of severe drought, resulting in significant problems with water and food security.