EGU23-13145, updated on 09 Jan 2024
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Implications of governance mechanisms for spanning boundaries and managing risk

Lydia Cumiskey1, Denise McCullagh1, Pia-Johanna Schweizer2, and Sukaina Bharwani3
Lydia Cumiskey et al.
  • 1SFI Research Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine research and innovation (MaREI), University College Cork, Cork, Ireland (
  • 2Research Institute for Sustainability (RIFS), GFZ Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany
  • 3Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), Oxford, United Kingdom

Managing flood risk and adapting to climate change is complex where multiple actors need to work together across sectoral and disciplinary boundaries to capture synergies and manage trade-offs. A selection of governance mechanisms were found to influence actors’ capacity to work in partnership, break down silos and unlock opportunities.

Results from research conducted within the SYSTEM-RISK project identifies boundary spanning roles as governance mechanisms facilitating integrated flood risk management in England and Serbia (Cumiskey, 2020). Among other characteristics, the ‘reticulist’ was found to utlise networks and diplomacy to access funding, ‘entrepreneurs’ acted creatively to capture funding and test the flexibility of rules, ‘interpreters’ built interpersonal relationships and interpreted different professional languages, ‘organisers’ managed actor partnerships and ‘specialists’ were willing to engage and try new approaches. The availability of rules and resources influenced capacities to hire, train and sustain such boundary spanning staff.  Results highlighting the dynamic interdependencies between such roles and the governance system will be shared.

Place-based adaptation partnerships were found as another governance mechanism, strengthening collaboration, knowledge exchange and joint action across boundaries. The Climate Adaptation Partnership Framework1 was developed through the TalX project (Transboundary Adaptation Learning Exchange) to collate learning from applications in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales and provide guidance for stakeholders interested in implementing such partnerships.  

The RISK-TANDEM framework is being developed within the DIRECTED project (Horizon Europe, 2022 - 2026) to enhance risk governance, knowledge co-production and interoperability across data, models and tools to enable disaster resilience in four Real World Lab regions. An initial version of the framework, which builds upon the existing Tandem Framework2 (among others) will be shared along with plans for implementation.   

The role of such governance mechanisms in integrating research, innovation and science in a collaborative way will be introduced, while opening the discussion on how to improve the application of such mechanisms to facilitate future engaged research.


Cumiskey, L. (2020). Embracing boundary spanning roles in Flood Risk Management. PhD Research Briefing Note 2. Middlesex University. Available at:

1 Climate Adaptation Partnership Framework. Available at:

2 The Tandem framework: a holistic approach to co-designing climate services. Available at:

How to cite: Cumiskey, L., McCullagh, D., Schweizer, P.-J., and Bharwani, S.: Implications of governance mechanisms for spanning boundaries and managing risk , EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-13145,, 2023.