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Paradox incentive structures and rules governing sharing of coastal and marine data in Kenya and Tanzania: Lessons for the Western Indian Ocean

Désirée Schwindenhammer
Julius Francis
Mishal Gudka
Hauke Kegler
Cristopher Muhando
Hauke Reuter
Rushingisha George
Nina Wambiji
Achim Schlüter


Comprehensive and timely data-sharing is essential for effective ocean governance. This institutional analysis investigates pervasive data-sharing barriers in Kenya and Tanzania, using a collective action perspective. Existing data-sharing rules and regulations are examined in respect to boundaries, contextuality and incentive structures, compliance and settlement mechanisms, and integration across scales. Findings show that current institutional configurations create insufficient or incoherent incentives, simultaneously reducing and reproducing sharing barriers. Regional harmonisation efforts and strategically aligned data-sharing institutions are still underdeveloped. This article discusses proposals to increase capacities and incentives for data-sharing, as well as the limitations of the chosen analytical framework. The debate is extended to aspects beyond institutional issues, i.e., structural data-sharing barriers or ethical concerns. Key recommendations include the establishment of more compelling incentives structures for data-sharing, increased funding of capacity-building and sharing infrastructure, and further awareness creation on the importance of data-sharing.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2683-6416
print ISSN: 0856-860X