I believe that academics should engage directly with issues of public concern (conjoined with the pursuit of excellence in research), and make credible contributions to policy and public debate.
As Director of the Program on Water Governance, I work with a team of researchers, translating the results of academic research into formats accessible to policy makers and the general public.
Consultant/Advisor/Board Member (selected examples)
Within Canada: Scientific Advisory Committee, Council of Canadian Academies (2018); Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (2011); National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (2010); Institute for Research on Public Policy (2008); Conference Board of Canada (2007); Fraser Basin Council (2007); Natural Resources Canada (2006); Gordon Foundation Freshwater Advisory Group (2005–07)
International: International Institute for Sustainable Development (2016 – present); UK Department for International Development (2012); UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) (2010); Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (2009); United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (2009); The Water Dialogues (2009); United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) (2005); Federation of Canadian Municipalities (2003); Foro del Sur, Bolivia (2002); Mvula Trust, South Africa (1998); NGO Forum on Cambodia (1997); CARE Cambodia (1997)
I am a passionate believer in the importance of academic contributions to public debate. My work has appeared in the Hill Times, Globe and Mail, New York Times,the Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, the Independent, Huffington Post, Sunday Times, and on Good Morning America.
Policy Publications (selected examples)
Some examples of our work are listed here. For a complete list, please visit the Program on Water Governance website.
- Askew, H., Snelgrove, C., Wrightson, K., Couturier, D., Koebel, A., Nowlan, L., Bakker, K. (2017) Between Law and Action: Assessing the State of Knowledge on Indigenous Law, UNDRIP and Free, Prior and Informed Consent with Reference to Fresh Water Resources. UBC Program on Water Governance/West Coast Environmental Law. Vancouver, September.Bakker, K. and D. Allen (2015) Canadian Water Security Assessment Framework: Tools for assessing water security and improving watershed governance. Report to the Canadian Water Network.
- Dunn, G., Cook, C., Allen, D., Bakker, K. (2012) Water Security: A Manual for Policy Makers. Report to the Canadian Water Network, University of Waterloo.
- Bakker, K., and A. Cohen (2011) Collaborative Water Governance and Sustainable Water Management for Canada’s Natural Resource Sectors. Report to the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy.
- Norman, E., Bakker, K., Cook, C., Dunn, G. and D. Allen (2010). Water Security: A Primer (Policy Report)
- Bakker, Karen (2009) Water Security: Canada’s Challenge. Policy Options. July-August 2009.
- Norman, E. and K. Bakker. (2007) Canada – U.S. Transboundary Water Governance: Issues, Drivers and Barriers. (Briefing Note) Vancouver, BC: Program on Water Governance.