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Home > Basin > Mekong > Research into Use Project on Companion Modelling (RiU PN25)

Full Title: Companion Modelling at Sub-Basin Scale


The CPWF Phase 1 project entitled ‘Companion modeling for resilient water management: Stakeholders’ perceptions of water dynamics and collective learning at catchment scale’ (PN25) developed a specific participatory modelling approach (ComMod) for water and land management within some catchments in Thailand, Viet Nam and Bhutan. In these watersheds, diverse stakeholders with differing perceptions of water dynamics and its use were set together into a co-design modelling process where they are helped to understand others stakeholders’ perceptions and needs. Participatory role-playing games associated with agent-based computer models are used within an iterative and evolving participatory process where stakeholders are involved into the design of the simulation tools. Setting up communication platforms is a means for ensuring that marginalized groups are not left out.  PN25 helped to elicit stakeholders’ knowledge and perceptions of water dynamics, stimulate dialogue, and promote better coordination among users.

This Research into Use project scaled-up the previous use of the ComMod approach from catchment scale to the sub-basin scale of a Mekong River tributary, the Srepok in Lao PDR. This project implemented two complementary forms of scaling-up activities: a “stream up-scaling” towards land and water users, that brought together stakeholders from downstream, upstream, and managers of dams into a ComMod approach implemented at a sub basin scale; and an “institutional up-scaling” towards land and water institutions, that brings together decision-making stakeholders from different sectors and scales of management within the Mekong River basin.

The ComMod approach was implemented primarily through interactive field workshops (inception and perception; foresights management and rules). During these workshops, stakeholders from the site, including non-local stakeholders (managers of dams, technical services, administrations, etc.), were asked to co-design and use together a sub-basin model for land and water uses management, that includes up and down stream interests and needs. The model is multi-uses and multi-scales, such that each participant thought about a management not only for its local interests but also for sustainable management at the whole sub-basin level.  A collectively-developed web-enabled distance learning tool was developed to support communication, training and dissemination of lessons to the Lao partners and beyond.


La recherche agronomique pour le développement (CIRAD) (lead), Chiang Mai University (CMU)

Project Leader

Geographic Area

Mekong Basin, Srepok River, Lao PDR


1.Jan.2012 – 30.Apr.2014 (28 months)