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KATHI BERATAN (Duke U. / Temple U.)
Shirley Loveless (Temple U.)
Paula Martin (Juniata Col.)
Stan Kabala (Duquesne U.)
Nancy Spyke (Duquesne
How can scientific information be better integrated into the decision process?
How can academic institutions assist in this process?
How can decision making, at multiple governance levels, dealing with processes operating at multiple scales, be coordinated?
Context: Managing Complexity
Indicators as a Communicative Tool
• Importance of thresholds and domain shifts;
• Difficulty in detecting change early enough to develop effective solutions;
• Likelihood that the signal of change will be displaced in space and time from the source, so that motivation for action will be small.
(Levin et al. 1997)
How can managers plan for the future if they don’t know what will happen?
We focus on finding ways to build RESILIENCE -- a system’s capacity to recover from disturbance.
Resilience is the inverse of vulnerability
(Resilience is not always a good thing -- maladaptive conditions and institutions can be resilient!)
Different processes occur at different scales, collectively influencing system behavior…
(Diagrams from The Resilience Alliance)
Different types of decisions, with differing information needs, are made at different governance levels.
Townships, Allegheny Co., PA
Political-managerial systems are COMPLEX
Decision making is hampered by fragmentation of responsibility, lack of cross-boundary and cross-scale coordination, lack of consensus on values and priorities.
How can this be achieved?
INDICATORS AS A COMMUNICATIVE TOOL
Effective indicator sets will have a specific objective, and target a specific audience.
Different collaborations will likely develop around different issues.
“Sustainability Centers” based at academic institutions
Long-Term Strategy --
PCIEP as “Boundary Organization”
Expenditure (cost, effort, risk)
Decision support: lowering the barrier
It is easier (and safer) to continue doing things the “old way” than to try a new approach, even if the new approach is “cheaper”.
The Far Side
(Quote from a PADEP District Manager)