Implementation process

By looking at the the activities, actors and methods or approaches used, this section will provide a better understanding of the implementation process of the MLS approach. We will describe the point of departure, who was involved (when, why and how) and what key decisions were made when and why.

Point of departure of FRM strategies

Ninove web final.png

Figure 1: Initial and desired scores for this pilot (Baseline monitor Ninove, 2017).

To measure the impact of FRAMES on improving the flood resilience of pilot areas, communities and authorities both a baseline and final monitoring survey have been conducted. The surveys were completed by pilot managers in consultation with key pilot stakeholders. The baseline survey included questions about the actual situation in 2017 (before the project started) and expectations for 2020 (see figure 1). The final survey contained similar questions, but about the actual situation in 2020 and expected situation for 2025, five years after the pilot projects are finished. All the scores for both surveys along with can be found in chapter 8 of the Transnational Monitoring and Evaluation Report.The figure depicting the desired score to reach per layer in this pilot (before and after FRAMES) is under construction.

Stakeholders involved

The primary stakeholders are citizens and companies located in flood-prone zones (as defined by the flood risk maps). In addition, the following stakeholders are identified:

Public actors:


  • Inhabitants/farmers of neighbouring non-floodable areas (encouraging water infiltration and retention measures)
  • Local organisations: neighbours’ information networks, Ninove Welzijn
  • Neighbourhoods:
    • Neighbourhood of Okegem (50 citizens)
    • Neighbourhood of Denderkaai-Parklaan (100 citizens)
    • Neighbourhood of Elsbeek (40 citizens)
    • Neighbourhood of Wolfputbeek (40 citizens)

Private actors:The initial plan was to involve several private actors. Following the delimitation of the focus zone in the Ninove pilot, no private actors were invited.

Main activities

At the start of the project, the Province of East Flanders and the UGhent developed a participation strategy including a stakeholder analysis whom they wanted to reach, and how to involve them. There were three target groups: flood-prone citizens (1), wider community (2) and local governments (3).

1.       Flood prone citizens

 Community resilience workshops were organised as a mean to involve flood-prone citizens, to raise awareness, activate them, change their attitude towards what they can do themselves, find citizens that are interested to become part of working groups to work on a specific product / topic.

  • First door-to-door visits were done with flood-prone citizens to get a good idea of the profile of the people, raise their interest in participating in the community resilience workshops.
  • 5 workshops have been organized so far:
    • 2 at the fire brigade in Ninove: first one to inform people, play ‘positioning game’, 24 people participated; second one to activate them: which measures could they take?, ask them to participate in working groups, 11 people participated; lower turn-out for second one expected because not so many people are interested in taking measures themselves.
    • 1 workshop in a café ‘De Belleman’. 30 people attended, this was the most promising group’ with 10 people ready to work on a preparedness manual to give to new inhabitants in the area.
    • 1 working session to make preparedness manual. Unfortunately, only 1 person attended. Several potential reasons for the low turn-out were put forward. The location was different being in the sport complex. The complex, being relatively distant from the residential area, the inhabitants would have to leave their houses in a wintery evening and bad weather. The café offered a familiar, comfortable environment and drinks were offered by the Province. Furthermore, in previous workshops, a lack of interest and confidence in the workshops’ necessity was noticeable due to the standpoint that flood management is solely a governments’ responsibility and the fear that such involvement would require a lot of time. The citizens were consequently contacted in person to attend the next workshop but there was very low enthusiasm.
    • 1 workshop in Okegem which 20 people attended. The attendees expressed a large discontent over the current flood management. The responsibility of all the flood issues and measures were solely laid upon the government. The attendees reacted with very low enthusiasm to the prospect of developing community resilience.

2.       Wider community

  •  1 community resilience workshop was organised with Babbelonie-initiative to reach people with a migration background that are less proficient in Flemish. This had a good result in terms of raising awareness but did not result in further steps for practical measures.
  • Different presentations were given at 4 meetings of Neighbourhood Information Networks at Ninove to make flood risk / water an issue there. The Neighbourhood Information Networks are citizens’ networks under the supervision of the head of police department. Its purpose is to ease the information flow within a neighbourhood for security matters. 

3.       Local authorities

  •  In the beginning of the pilot, contacts were established with several local governments (Ninove, Denderleeuw, Liedekerke). The FRAMES project was presented to find out who is interested in participating, where to carry out the community resilience workshops, etc...
    • The Province stayed away from asking too much engagement of the local governments, because they knew that they only have limited capacities. Local governments have now a rather passive attitude in the FRAMES pilot.
    • Talks with local governments showed that particularly Ninove was interested without actively participating. The emergency planning officer from Ninove got appointed to work together with Province in the FRAMES pilot (for example, he helped that the first community resilience workshop was organized at the fire brigade of Ninove; emergency planning officer was present, but not very active)
  • Cooperation with a consultancy to start a Research by Design resulted in design proposals for making a specific neighbourhood in Ninove climate-proof / flood-proof. Afterwards the Province, the city of Ninove (department head), social housing company and sewage company agreed to take the process forward; in 2019, 2 design workshops were organised. These collected main relevant authorities and civil society actors to discuss how the area of Burchtdam could be developed in a flood resilient and climate adaptive manner. Interestingly, some actors present on these workshops are not dealing with flood risk/climate adaptation in their daily operations but do have other plans or responsibilities in the area. In the workshops, we sought how their operations could be linked to climate adaptation, to create win-win situations. The design process led to a Vision and Action plan on climate adaptive neighbourhoods (see project outcomes and beyond).