| tags: [ objectives structured-decision-making restoration vegetation decision-science ] categories: [reading ]

Guerrero et al 2017 Using SDM to set restoration objectives

Guerrero, A. M., Shoo, L., Iacona, G., Standish, R. J., Catterall, C. P., Rumpff, L., de Bie, K., White, Z., Matzek, V., Wilson, K. A. (2017) Using structured decision-making to set restoration objectives when multiple values and preferences exist. Restoration Ecology. 25, 858–865.

Problem: achieving restoration targets is impeded by difficulty in identifying and working towards targets, because objective setting is beset by multiple / conflicting values and preferences, and there are often time-lags in a restoration action and its desired outcome.

  1. Literature review to characterise the magnitude of the problem.

What they did: Identified studies in vegetation restoration contexts where formal decision-making processes had been implemented. From there they reviewed whether the objective setting process was described. And if so, how it was achieved.

What they found: stakeholders aren’t really involved in the objective setting process, mostly involved in latter stages, e.g. in identifying prefereable management alternatives as well as weighting the decision criteria.

The incorporation of decision science into restoration “has been limited to the process of assessing the relative importance of a pre-defined set of objectives or the identification of appropriate restoration alternatives […] as opposed to using this information to frame a restoration problem or to specify stakeholder values and preferences from the outset”

  1. Real-world application of SDM

Adapted the SDM process, focussing on articulating the problem context and setting restoration objectives. Main intervention was the use of a pre-workshop survey, and workshop-task “why is this important” to differentiate fundamental objectives from means objectives, as well as strategic and process objectives (Figure 3, Table 1)

Decision-science and SDM

decision-science “theories, techniques, and decision-support tools that can be used to facilitate problem formulation and objective setting, including those found in the operations research literature.”

Structured decision-making “a framework that utlises a range of decision analytic tools for guiding decision makers through a decision process to facilitate transparent, logical and defensible decisions”

Why this paper useful to me:

  • The idea of “decision process style”, Libby’s distinction between the overarching decision process and the technical elements of the tool is an important one for framing my research question / the scope of my project.
  • example of how to conduct the literature review: - appendix S2, criteria for categorising the papers I find, e.g. decision-support-tool, method of collating the lit review results - Figure S2: flow chart describing the lit review process
  • importance of objective setting, in general, but also ensuring that stakeholder values are captured, as well as time-frames.