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Scoping of complex social and environmental problems can be undertaken using the following seven phase framework. Phase 1: Analyse the Context When did the problem attract attention? Who raised the problem? How was the decision to do something about the problem arrived at? What do those who raised the problem expect? What is their general […]
The aim of this analysis is to determine “who or what really counts”. Although developed in a business context, the analysis has broader relevance. Power, legitimacy and urgency are defined as follows: Power: “A relationship among social actors in which one social actor, A, can get another social actor, B, to do something that B […]
Purpose: To identify the key actors (stakeholders) who may be able to affect a policy outcome, especially whether or not they agree with the change proposed (alignment) and whether or not they are likely to take action (interest). To determine how a coalition seeking to achieve change might best interact with each of the identified […]
Purpose: Provides detailed advice about the process of engaging stakeholders, including planning the process, methods, evaluation and managing conflict.
Purpose: Describes different levels of public participation and can be easily adapted to describe how researchers engage with stakeholders  Arnstein’s purpose in developing the ladder was to describe how ‘have-not’ citizen groups were exploited in government decision-making processes, as well as how much power stakeholders had in determining the final product Description: Arnstein’s ladder has […]
Purpose: (a) To describe different ways stakeholder engagement can occur; (b) To assist in the selection of the appropriate level of stakeholder participation depending on the particular circumstances; and, (c) To specifically examine stakeholder engagement in a research context. Description: The International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) has developed a spectrum for public participation, specifically for government decision making. The spectrum can be easily adapted for other contexts and a modified version has been produced for a research context...
This online toolkit provides descriptions of a range of methods for stakeholder engagement, listed below. As well as providing a general overview, each method is described using the following categories: participants, cost, approximate time expense, strengths, weaknesses and origin. Videos are provided for some methods. There are also case studies for most methods.   Moderation […]
This video of an hour-long workshop introduces the core concepts and patterns of thought of the system dynamics approach to complex problems: thinking dynamically, thinking causally, thinking about accumulations, and the key to it all, thinking endogenously. The session builds skills in the mechanics of defining problems dynamically, mapping systems structure, and teasing out qualitative […]
The encyclopedia is a searchable online database of concepts that support the advancement of cybernetic and systems research and applications. There are more than 3,800 entries. Topics include abstraction, complexity, decision hierarchy, emergence, feedback, gap analysis, hierarchy, interdependence, non-linear dynamics, path dependence, root definition, stakeholder analysis, and worldview. Each concept is briefly explained and linked […]
Systems archetypes are recurring generic systems structures found in many kinds of organisations, under many circumstances, and at many levels and scales. They are distinctive combinations of reinforcing and balancing processes. These system archetypes teach how to diagnose recurring problems and to design effective interventions. Eight common archetypes are: fixes that fail shifting the burden […]

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