In the face of scientific, economic and technological disruptions, creating innovative water polices require novel ways of thinking about policy problems (Whitbread, Linnane, & Davidson, 2017). It demands an understanding of the ontological, theoretical and methodological underpinnings of existing policy solution. It does not attempt to ‘fix’ the problem, rather understand how the problem is defined by emphasising the historical and contextual socio-political realities within the regions.

We favour critical and multidisciplinary approaches to conceptualising and framing policy problems, to reinforce existing tools and methods of inquiry and intervention. Power and knowledge are central to understanding structural and individual dispositions and responses over space and time. We encourage investigations into broadly shared historical legacies, local water management approaches, and local political governance systems amongst other subjects.

Such perspectives to innovation can liberate and elevate local voices, practices and approaches (Nagendra, 2018), which becomes potent policy innovation tool for researchers, policymakers and stakeholders. It also helps to cultivate robust skills necessary for innovative design and implementation practices.