Investigating the effectiveness of education with the aim of developing participatory communication in conservation: A study of Qanat water supply system in Khezrabad, Yazd

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Rangeland Management, Faculty of Natural Resources and Marine Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Noor , Iran

2 Department of Watershed Management, Faculty of Natural Resources and Marine Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Noor , Iran

3 Department of Watershed Management, Faculty of Natural Resources, Yazd University, Yazd, Iran

4 Department of Environment, Faculty of Marine and Oceanic Sciences, Mazandaran University, Babolasar, Iran


Introduction: Effective participatory management in natural resources and the environment depends on improving the level of knowledge, skills, insights of actors, and developing their participatory behavior. Accordingly, related organizations need to conduct training courses, capacity building, and empowerment measures that require high cost and energy. This may result in the development of interpersonal communication networks, two-way interactions, and network dynamics of rural actors to solve environmental problems based on collective thinking and increase trust. However, the impact of these measures on the participatory communication of the target community is less evaluated, which will play an important role in recognizing the success rate of these courses and their improvement and development. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of education and empowerment projects for Qanat stakeholders on their participatory relationships in the conservation of this valuable resource in the arid and desert area in Khezrabad region of Yazd Province by social network analysis.
Material and methods: In order to quantify the effect of training on participants' participatory communication, this study evaluated the stakeholder communication network including 38 people in two stages (comparison before and after the empowerment measures). The social network of the research has been done in the form of two links of trust and participation by measuring macro-level indicators and analyzing information in the Ucinet software.
Results and discussion: The results showed that all relevant indicators were improved after the implementation of the project. Changing the value of indicators showed that the number of participatory and interactive stakeholder interactions has increased with more speed and less time. The cohesion of the network was removed from being confined to a few people and the circulation of communications and consequently the balance of the network has increased, and subsequently, the development of a participatory relationship was also increased.
Conclusion: The status of the studied indicators (macro level of the network) has improved after the implementation of the empowerment and capacity-building plan of local communities. The effect of these activities and actions, if codified and targeted, can have a significant effect on increasing social capital and partnerships, as well as an increase in the success rate of the management and conservation activities of the natural resources and environment sector, especially water resources, which is of great importance in arid areas.


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