event 16 Jul 2018

Where Is The Added Value of The Nexus Approach? // A Review of The Water-Energy-Food Nexus Literature

By Stephanie Galaitsi, Jason Veysey and Annette Huber-Lee. This report by SEI finds that water-energy-food (WEF) nexus research has not produced a discernible intellectual toolkit, nor has it validated claims that nexus approaches can improve resource management and governance outcomes.

category Research Papers, Publications and Books
Cover added value of the nexus by sei

The water-energy-food nexus concept recognizes the complex interdependencies between the named sectors and seeks to analyse them as a single system to promote resource sustainability and effective governance.

The authors review 63 self-identified empirical nexus studies to evaluate consistency, added value and transferability of nexus applications. The synthesis of the scholarship includes insights regarding a working definition of the WEF nexus, the primary motivations for empirical nexus studies, the role of economics and governance in nexus analyses, and the nexus’ dependence on socio-political and physical constructs.

However, the authors find no clear boundaries to constrain the WEF nexus applications, and the resulting diversity of scholarship limits the synoptic conclusions that can be derived from it. The empirical WEF nexus research has not produced a discernible intellectual toolkit, nor has it validated claims that nexus approaches can improve resource management and governance outcomes. The lack of evidence for improving outcomes is a serious challenge that must be addressed if empirical WEF nexus research is to realize its promise.

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SEI website

Published

June 2018

By

Stockholm Environment Institute SEI

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Tina Schmiers

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