Articles | Volume 26, issue 8
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed underthe Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Power and empowerment in transdisciplinary research: a negotiated approach for peri-urban groundwater problems in the Ganges Delta
- Final revised paper (published on 29 Apr 2022)
- Preprint (discussion started on 25 Aug 2021)
Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor |
: Report abuse
RC1: 'Comment on hess-2021-419', Roman Seidl, 27 Sep 2021
- AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Leon Hermans, 03 Dec 2021
RC2: 'Comment on hess-2021-419', Anonymous Referee #2, 26 Oct 2021
- AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Leon Hermans, 03 Dec 2021
Peer review completion
AR: Author's response | RR: Referee report | ED: Editor decision
ED: Reconsider after major revisions (further review by editor and referees) (06 Dec 2021) by Thomas Thaler
AR by Leon Hermans on behalf of the Authors (13 Jan 2022)  Author's response Author's tracked changes Manuscript
ED: Referee Nomination & Report Request started (14 Jan 2022) by Thomas Thaler
RR by Roman Seidl (01 Feb 2022)
RR by Anonymous Referee #2 (15 Feb 2022)
ED: Publish subject to minor revisions (review by editor) (15 Feb 2022) by Thomas Thaler
AR by Leon Hermans on behalf of the Authors (25 Feb 2022)  Author's response Author's tracked changes Manuscript
ED: Publish as is (28 Feb 2022) by Thomas Thaler
Review for the manuscript: Power and Empowerment in Transdisciplinary Research: A Negotiated Approach for Peri-Urban Groundwater Problems in the Ganges Delta. (hess-2021-419)
The authors make an important contribution to the field of transdisciplinary research concerning groundwater problems. They show the relevance of power issues in local settings and report impressive and informative research. Basically, I think this manuscript is worth publishing. However, suggest some substantial changes to the text. The main idea I would like to put forth is to turn around the whole story. While reading I asked myself several times and with every page more intensely, what the heck is the problem they address in this paper?
Therefore, I suggest starting with the problem description from the project reports and clearly flesh out the problem at hand. Otherwise – as it is now – the text crawls through the td-literature and states that power issues have not approached in a valid way. I asked myself, for what do the authors need the td and power knowledge? What is their challenge they need to work on? I honestly think it makes more sense to describe the problem first and then turn to methods and approaches (td), which can then be reviewed and found to be only partly helpful. However, this must be shown concretely, not stated in abstract terms. Currently the manuscripts provides a review of td-literature, which shows the authors have read it, but one wonders what for? Why is the project focusing on power, first of all? One could e.g. follow the order:
Probably, this way the differences and synergies between the both approaches become clearer. Currently I still wonder what that is all about. (Table 2 is not very helpful to get this sorted. In all tables it should be clear what is TDR and what is from NA).
Some further remarks as they refer to the text:
Page 2, line 50ff: “local water users and state actors also need to be empowered” here I asked myself the first time: WHY and for/to WHAT? What should those agents be empowered to be capable of?
Page 2, line 51: typo “amoung”
Page 2, line 56: indicate NA as acronym for the Negotiated Approach once and use it afterwards. Currently it is used inconsistently.
Page 4, line 126: here a reference to companion modeling or td-modeling makes sense
Page 6, line 182: why prisoner’s dilemma ? What is the exact situation and why this analogy?
Page 7, line 209: “to address peri-urban groundwater problems in cities in Bangladesh and India.” – which problems? Please specify from the start what kinds of problems are addressed.
Page 7, line 214: “The project started with the ambition to combine transdisciplinary research and the negotiated approach” Why? This is not clear because neither the groundwater problem nor the agent-constellation and power issues are described as of yet.
Page 8, first paragraph: This is an interesting and challenging arrangement. That is, the project internal setting was twofold: concerning civil society (society partners) and the research team. Two more sentences could be added here to elaborate on this constellation and its challenges…
Page 9, line 270 ff. Here the groundwater issues become more clear. It’s about risks from arsenic contamination. When it comes to pro- and anti-groups – were there also indifferent and/or ambivalent groups/agents?
Page 10, line 309: this is an important issue – the timing and the alignment of timing in a project with societal partners.
Page 11, line 315 ff.: Still it is not clear what is the source of the arsenic risk!
Page 14, line 415: what is JJS? See also line 477
Page 14, line 426: point iii – delete the space before “waste”
Page 18, line 550: “less explicit attention” –well, maybe.