Chapter | Strategic Environmental Assessment for Policies: An Instrument for Good Governance | 2008

Learning in Environmental Policymaking and Implementation

by Alnoor Ebrahim


This paper explores how "learning" occurs in the context of environmental policy formulation and implementation. Rather than viewing policy learning as a rational and technocratic process, the emphasis here is on the political and institutional contexts within which opportunities for policy learning emerge. In particular, opportunities for policy learning are examined with respect to: a) agenda or priority-setting on environmental issues; b) stakeholder access and representation in policy formulation; and c) accountability in implementation. Examples are drawn from the experiences of South Africa and Brazil. Several preliminary factors are identified that may enhance policy learning, while acknowledging the constraints of bounded rationality and relationships of power.

Keywords: Learning; Corporate Accountability; Policy; Government and Politics; Business and Stakeholder Relations; Natural Environment; Power and Influence; South Africa; Brazil;


Ebrahim, Alnoor. "Learning in Environmental Policymaking and Implementation." In Strategic Environmental Assessment for Policies: An Instrument for Good Governance, edited by Kulsum Ahmed and Ernesto Sanchez-Triana. Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 2008. (Was HBS Working Paper 08-071.)