Main authors: Rozalija Cvejič, Marina Pintar, Gerard Velthof
FAIRWAYiS Editor: Jane Brandt
Source document: »Cvejič, R. et al. (2021) Scientific support for policies aiming at reducing diffuse nitrates and pesticides pollution of drinking water in Europe; synthesis report. FAIRWAY Project Deliverable 7.4 29 pp


Contents table
1. Theoretical background
2. Integration framework
3. Consulting on end result findings

1. Theoretical background

In framing the questions for this synthesis of FAIRWAY's results, we adopted the approach of Moore et al. (2015) who distinct between three types of scaling strategies that drive the system change. These include "scaling up" referring to institutional change, "scaling out" emphasizing replication in different social settings, and "scaling deep" referring to change triggered by changing participants' minds, values, and cultural practices.

The multi-actor approach (EC, 2020), that embodied FAIRWAY project in period 2017-2021, aimed at a more demand-driven innovation process that goes beyond just wide dissemination of the project results, with particular emphasis on inclusions of a wide array of stakeholders and their views with adequate involvement of various actors, especially end-users of project result.

Following the Moore et al. (2015) system change framework, the following three main questions raised by the synthesis report were:

  • Scale Deep: How impactful was FAIRWAY project in terms of reaching cultural roots through multi-actor platforms; and how did this mechanism of participation change relationships, values and beliefs with respect to reducing diffuse agricultural pollution with nitrogen and pesticides at the local level?
  • Scale Up: What are the main scientific findings of the FAIRWAY project and what is their relevance for laws and policies aiming at reducing diffuse agricultural pollution with nitrogen and pesticides at different levels (e.g. EU, river basin, catchment scale, regional, and municipal scale)?
  • Scale Out: What impact did the Fairway project reach in terms of replication and dissemination, and which target groups and communities did it influence the most?

2. Integration framework

With reference to Figure 2, Table 1 provides the integration framework of project FAIRWAY outputs for constructing the synthesis report. All milestones, deliverables, key messages, and scientific publications were reviewed. Selected outputs were included in development of synthesis report on project outcomes and were used to identify the challenges to limiting ADP that lie ahead.

D7.4 fig02
Figure 2

Table 1: The integration framework of project FAIRWAY outputs for constructing the synthesis report (for full authorship of sources used see »References).

Scaling strategy: Deliverable (D), milestone (MS), key messages (KM) or articles used
Scale Deep Nesheim et al., 2021; MS 2.1; MS 2.2; D2.1, D2.2, D2.3, M3.1., KM
Scale Up D3.1, D3.2, MS 4.1, MS 4.2, D4.1, 4.2, D5.1, D5.2, D5.3, D6.1, D6.2, M7.2, D7.1, D7.2; D7.3, Kim et al., 2020; Klages et al., 2020; Nicholson et al., 2020; Wuijts et al., 2021, Rowbottom et al. (in preparation); Cervalho et al., 2019; Graversgaard et al., 2018, KM
Scale Out D7.1, D7.2, Glavan et al., 2019, KM, FAIRWAY evaluation indicators

3. Consulting on end result findings

In compiling the synthesis, special attention was given to consulting end-users on the end project findings. A multi-layered approach using several methods and tools was adopted to achieve wide dissemination on various levels.

To target specifically the EU level policy makers and organisations, a workshop with the EU-level actors was organised together to present the final results from the research themes and validate and cross-check the results on possibilities of integrating science as a support for relevant EU policies. The workshop entitled “Reducing diffuse agricultural pollution with nitrogen and pesticides on farms: what can we do together?” within the project FAIRWAY was planned for the 23rd November 2021 at the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Slovenia in Brussels, Boulevard du Regent 45-46, 1000 Brussel, Belgium, and a chairman was confirmed. The rapid increase of COVID-19 cases that started at the beginning of November 2021 in practically all European countries was the main reason for cancelling the physical meeting in Brussels and continuing with an online workshop instead.

We successfully ensured the attendance of several key EU-level organisations (EIP AGRI and industry association CropLife Europe). However, despite several attempts, we were unable to confirm the presence of higher EU level policymakers, including representatives from DGs ENV and AGRI or RTD, for a digital meeting (reasons stated: "no resources" or "no relation to the topic").

However, to target an international groups of experts and practitioners, a webinar was organised on the 24th November 2021, entitled “Stakeholder engagement and governance arrangements in European agricultural drinking water catchments” where some of the key findings of the FAIRWAY were discussed with representatives from EurEau, the European Federation of National Associations of Water Services, and COPA-COGECA, the united voice of farmers and agri-cooperatives in the EU. There were 80 participants. The findings were used to validate the results on possibilities of integrating science to support relevant EU policies targeting to diffuse agricultural pollution with nitrogen and pesticides as one of the main obstacles in achieving drinking water quality targets.

Additionally, an online survey for reaching out to EU policy makers, EU organisations, and others interested (such as scientist, national decision makers, farmer’s advisors service, etc.) was launched on 17th November 2021. Of 97 clicks on the survey introduction, 44 clicked on the survey, and 32 at least partially finished the survey (see »Appendix to the full report). Although the number of responses was relatively small and cannot represent a statistically representative sample of any of the key-stakeholder groups identified in the survey, summary results are presented in the appendix and give an indication of how useful the end findings are for the respondents.



For full references to papers quoted in this article see »References

Download the full report for the survey results contained in the Appendix.


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