Countries have organized themselves in different ways to address flood risk management. Roles, responsibilities, and powers differ. These distinctions stem from a country's history, culture, politics, and values as much as from its vision of how best to manage flood risks.
How specifically are countries organized at the national level into various governmental sections to deal with flood risk management? Which powers are reserved for the nation and which are reserved for regional or local governmental entities? What poses the greatest coordinative challenges within the framework established and why? Is there any commonality of geographic or demographic scale at which subdivision of an organization seems generally to occur? What is the role of non-government partners in flood risk management, and how are countries bringing together their governmental sections with the private sector and volunteers to reach common understanding and make mutual progress? How are linkages handled between national policy and regional or local implementation, and between watershed or catchments and regional governance, if different? How is coordination stimulated and enforced among various governmental sections, trans-nationally, and at the catchment level?
This panel opened with a synthesis and analysis, from invited papers from various countries, of how governance is structured. Panel members then discussed issues arising from that synthesis and analysis, as well as advantages and challenges associated with the various approaches.