Preprint Article Version 1 This version not peer reviewed

What do Users Really Want? Participatory Development of Decision Support Tools for Environmental Management based on Outcomes.

Version 1 : Received: 5 October 2017 / Approved: 6 October 2017 / Online: 6 October 2017 (08:51:07 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Hewitt, R.J.; Macleod, C.J.A. What Do Users Really Need? Participatory Development of Decision Support Tools for Environmental Management Based on Outcomes. Environments 2017, 4, 88. Hewitt, R.J.; Macleod, C.J.A. What Do Users Really Need? Participatory Development of Decision Support Tools for Environmental Management Based on Outcomes. Environments 2017, 4, 88.

Journal reference: Environments 2017, 4, 88
DOI: 10.3390/environments4040088

Abstract

There is increasing demand from stakeholders for tools to support outcome-based approaches in environmental management. For such tools to be useful, understanding user requirements is key. In Scotland, UK, stakeholders were engaged in the development of an Environmental Decision Support System (EDSS) to support the management of land and freshwater resources for multiple policy outcomes. A structured participatory engagement process was employed to determine stakeholder requirements, establish development principles to fulfil these requirements and road-test prototypes. The EDSS specification that emerged from this bottom-up process was spatially-explicit, free at the point of use, and touch and mobile device compatible. This application, which is under development, does not closely resemble most existing published EDSS. We suggest that there is a mismatch between the way scientists typically conceptualise EDSS and the kinds of applications that are likely to be useful to decision-makers on the ground. Interactive mobile and web-based geospatial information services have become ubiquitous in our daily lives, but their importance is not reflected in current literature on EDSS. The current focus in environmental management on adaptive, stakeholder-centred strategies based on outcomes offers an opportunity to make better use of these new technologies to aid decision-making processes.

Subject Areas

Environmental decision support systems; applications; outcome-based approach; adaptive management; user requirements; environmental management; participatory land planning

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