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Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Evaluating the characteristics of a non-standardised Model Requirements Analysis (MRA) for the development of policy impact assessment tools
Sieber, S. ; Amjath-Babu, T.S. ; McIntosh, B.S. ; Tscherning, K. ; Mulller, K. ; Helming, K. ; Pohle, D. ; Fricke, K. ; Verweij, P.J.F.M. ; Pacini, C. ; Jansson, T. ; Paloma, S.G.Y. - \ 2013
Environmental Modelling & Software 49 (2013). - ISSN 1364-8152 - p. 53 - 63.
support - systems - design - methodology - management - decision - science
The aim of this paper is to provide a critical analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of a non-standardised Model Requirements Analysis (MRA) used for the purpose of developing the Sustainability Impact Assessment Tool (SIAT). By 'non-standardised' we mean not strictly following a published MRA method. The underlying question we are interested in addressing is how non-standardised methods, often employed in research driven projects, compare to defined methods with more standardised structure, with regards their ability to capture model requirements effectively, and with regards their overall usability. Through describing and critically assessing the specific features of the non-standardised MRA employed, the ambition of this paper is to provide insights useful for impact assessment tool (IAT) development. Specifically, the paper will (i) characterise kinds of user requirements relevant to the functionality and design of IATs; (ii) highlight the strengths and weaknesses of non-standardised MRA for user requirements capture, analysis and reflection in the context of IAT; (iii) critically reflect on the process and outcomes of having used a non-standardised MRA in comparison with other more standardised approaches. To accomplish these aims, we first review methods available for IAT development before describing the SIAT development process, including the MRA employed. Major strengths and weaknesses of the MRA method are then discussed in terms of user identification and characterisation, organisational characterisation and embedding, and ability to capture design options for ensuring usability and usefulness. A detailed assessment on the structural differences of MRA with two advanced approaches (Integrated DSS design and goal directed design) and their role in performance of the MRA tool is used to critique the approach employed. The results show that MRA is able to bring thematic integration, establish system performance and technical thresholds as well as detailing quality and transparency guidelines. Nevertheless the discussion points out to a number of deficiencies in application - (i) a need to more effectively characterise potential users, and; (ii) a need to better foster communication among the distinguished roles in the development process. If addressed these deficiencies, SIAT non-standardised MRA could have brought out better outcomes in terms of tool usability and usefulness, and improved embedding of the tool into conditions of targeted end-users. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Regional impact assessment of land use scenarios in developing countries using the FoPIA approach: Findings from five case studies
König, H.J. ; Uthes, S. ; Schuler, J. ; Zhen, L. ; Purushothaman, S. ; Suarma, U. ; Sghaier, M. ; Makokha, S. ; Helming, K. ; Sieber, S. ; Chen, L. ; Brouwer, F.M. ; Morris, J. ; Wiggering, H. - \ 2013
Journal of Environmental Management 127 (2013)Suppl.. - ISSN 0301-4797 - p. S56 - S64.
integrated assessment - sustainable development - assessment-tool - conservation - tunisia - dynamics - science - kenya
The impact of land use changes on sustainable development is of increasing interest in many regions of the world. This study aimed to test the transferability of the Framework for Participatory Impact Assessment (FoPIA), which was originally developed in the European context, to developing countries, in which lack of data often prevents the use of data-driven impact assessment methods. The core aspect of FoPIA is the stakeholder-based assessment of alternative land use scenarios. Scenario impacts on regional sustainability are assessed by using a set of nine regional land use functions (LUFs), which equally cover the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainability. The cases analysed in this study include (1) the alternative spatial planning policies around the Merapi volcano and surrounding areas of Yogyakarta City, Indonesia; (2) the large-scale afforestation of agricultural areas to reduce soil erosion in Guyuan, China; (3) the expansion of soil and water conservation measures in the Oum Zessar watershed, Tunisia; (4) the agricultural intensification and the potential for organic agriculture in Bijapur, India; and (5) the land degradation and land conflicts resulting from land division and privatisation in Narok, Kenya. All five regions are characterised by population growth, partially combined with considerable economic development, environmental degradation problems and social conflicts. Implications of the regional scenario impacts as well as methodological aspects are discussed. Overall, FoPIA proved to be a useful tool for diagnosing regional human–environment interactions and for supporting the communication and social learning process among different stakeholder groups.
Different levels of stakeholder participation for sustainability Impact Assessment Tools - A comparative requirement analysis of four research approaches
Sieber, S. ; Konig, H. ; Bezlepkina, I. ; Reidsma, P. - \ 2012
- p. 1 - 8.
duurzaamheid (sustainability) - impact - beoordeling - modelleren - participatie - onderzoek - sustainability - impact - assessment - modeling - participation - research
In the last decade, a wide range of new modeling approaches has been developed for sustainability impact assessment. They are often based on theoretical concepts on how to cope, process and apply pre-assessments on policy and project instrument-implementation. Experiences show that few models reached immediately a fully operational state ready to provide applied policy advice. Expertise on models and programming skills is often not available. Additionally, the geographical focus plays a crucial role in the success of any assessment approaches. Given the assumption that research should be demand-driven, this paper gives an overview on experiences from several European and international projects with regard to the demand of end users and the supply of research. The determining factors of these framework conditions (e.g. regional conditions towards skills, user demands, project designs, data availability of resources) are analysed, which drive decisions to select components within a "tool box". A decision tree is designed which is based on our experiences which ease an adequate, region and condition-explicit selection of tool-box components tailored for sustainability impact assessments. The paper critically reviews the concepts of the presented tools towards its success factors needed to conclude on adequate participatory stakeholder involvement.
D1.3: Final Report. LUPIS. Land Use Policies and Sustainable Development in Developing Countries. Specific Targeted Project Integrating and Strengthening the European Research Area
Bezlepkina, I. ; Brouwer, F.M. ; Nesheim, I. ; Verburg, R.W. ; Silvis, H.J. ; Chen, L. ; Chant, L.J. ; Imbernon, J. ; Bonin, M. ; Bonnal, V. ; Tonneau, J.P. ; McNeil, D. ; Reidsma, I. ; Ittersum, M.K. van; König, H. ; Schuler, J. ; Sieber, S. ; Helming, K. ; Sghaier, M. ; Abdeladhim, A.M. ; Ounalli, N. ; Jeder, H. ; Bechir, R. ; Chouikhi, F. ; Makokha, S. ; Gicheru, P. ; Purushothaman, S. ; Patil, S. ; Francis, I. ; Feng, S. ; Qu, F. ; Shi, X. ; Cissé, Y. ; Novira, N. ; Dalimunthe, S.A. ; Damayanti, F. ; Dewi, N.I.S. ; Rahayu, T.S. ; Sartohadi, J. ; Suarma, U. ; Rodrigues-Filho, S. ; Bursztyn, M. ; Lindoso, D. ; Debortoli, N. - \ 2011
The Hague : LEI, part of Wageningen UR (LUPIS No. GOCE-036955 Deliverable number: 1.3) - 149 p.
Environmental decision support systems (EDSS) development - Challenges and best practices
McIntosh, B.S. ; Ascough, J.C. ; Twery, M. ; Chew, J. ; Elmahdi, A. ; Haase, D. ; Harou, J.J. ; Hepting, D. ; Cuddy, S. ; Jakeman, A.J. ; Chen, S. ; Kassahun, A. ; Lautenbach, S. ; Matthews, K. ; Merritt, W. ; Quinn, N.W.T. ; Rodriguez-Roda, I. ; Sieber, S. ; Stavenga, M. ; Sulis, A. ; Ticehurst, J. ; Volk, M. ; Wrobel, M. ; Delden, H. ; El-Sawah, S. ; Rizzoli, A. ; Voinov, A. - \ 2011
Environmental Modelling & Software 26 (2011)12. - ISSN 1364-8152 - p. 1389 - 1402.
river-basin management - ecosystem management - resource management - united-states - integration - models - tools - information - policy - dss
Despite the perceived value of DSS in informing environmental and natural resource management, DSS tools often fail to be adopted by intended end users. By drawing together the experience of a global group of EDSS developers, we have identified and assessed key challenges in EDSS development and offer recommendations to resolve them. Challenges related to engaging end users in EDSS development emphasise the need for a participatory process that embraces end users and stakeholders throughout the design and development process. Adoption challenges concerned with individual and organisational capacities to use EDSS and the match between EDSS and organisational goals can be overcome through the use of an internal champion to promote the EDSS at different levels of a target organisation; coordinate and build capacity within the organisation, and; ensure that developers maintain focus on developing EDSS which are relatively easy and inexpensive to use and update (and which are perceived as such by the target users). Significant challenges exist in relation to ensuring EDSS longevity and financial sustainability. Such business challenges may be met through planning and design that considers the long-term costs of training, support, and maintenance; revenue generation and licensing by instituting processes which support communication and interactions; and by employing software technology which enables easy model expansion and re use to gain an economy of scale and reduce development costs. A final group of perhaps more problematic challenges relate to how the success of EDSS ought to be evaluated. Whilst success can be framed relatively easily in terms of interactions with end users, difficulties of definition and measurability emerge in relation to the extent to which EDSS achieve intended outcomes. To tackle the challenges described, the authors provide a set of best practice recommendations concerned with promoting design for ease of use, design for usefulness, establishing trust and credibility, promoting EDSS acceptance, and starting simple and small in functionality terms. Following these recommendations should enhance the achievement of successful EDSS adoption, but more importantly, help facilitate the achievement of desirable social and environmental outcomes.
Ex Ante Impact Assessment of Policies Affecting Land Use, Part A: Analytical Framework
Helming, K. ; Diehl, K. ; Bach, H. ; Dilly, O. ; König, B. ; Kuhlman, J.W. ; Perez-Soba, M. ; Sieber, S. ; Tabbush, P. ; Tscherning, K. ; Wascher, D. ; Wiggering, H. - \ 2011
Ecology and Society 16 (2011)1. - ISSN 1708-3087
ecosystem services - integrated assessment - special-issue - valuation - multifunctionality - perspectives - biodiversity - agriculture - indicators - dynamics
Contemporary policy making calls for scientific support to anticipate the possible consequences of optional policy decisions on sustainable development. This paper presents an analytical framework for ex ante assessment of economic, social, and environmental impacts of policy driven land use changes that can be used as an aid to policy making. The tasks were to (1) link policy scenarios with land use change simulations, (2) link land use change simulations with environmental, social, and economic impacts through indicators, and (3) valuate the impacts in the context of sustainable development. The outcome was a basis for dialogue at the science-policy interface in the process of developing new policies on the European level that impact on land and land use. The analytical approach provides a logical thread for ex ante impact assessment within the context of sustainable development, land use multifunctionality, and land use change and it provides a thorough discussion of achievements and open challenges related to the framework. It concludes with considerations on the potential for using evidence based ex ante assessments in the process of policy development. The paper is complemented by a B-paper providing exemplary results from two applications of the framework: a financial reform scenario of the Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union, and a bioenergy policy scenario for the case of Poland (Helming et al. 2011).
Methods and tools for integrated assessment of land use policies on sustainable development in developing countries
Reidsma, P. ; König, H. ; Feng, S. ; Bezlepkina, I. ; Nesheim, I. ; Bonin, M. ; Sghaier, M. ; Purushothaman, S. ; Sieber, S. ; Ittersum, M.K. van; Brouwer, F.M. - \ 2011
Land Use Policy 28 (2011)3. - ISSN 0264-8377 - p. 604 - 617.
nutrient management - zhejiang province - cropping systems - european-union - farm models - lake region - taihu lake - rice - china - asia
For stimulating sustainable development in developing countries, land use patterns and land use changes are considered critical, and therefore effective and efficient land use policies are needed. In this paper we present a methodological framework that has been developed in a joint European and developing countries project (LUPIS – Land Use Policies and Sustainable Development in Developing Countries), to assess the impact of land use policies on sustainable development in developing countries. An illustrative application is presented for a case study in China, where water pollution due to agriculture in Taihu Basin is a major problem. We argue that an integrated assessment is required, considering multiple drivers and indicators that determine the objectives and constraints of the stakeholders involved. Therefore, the sustainability impact assessment (SIA) is based on the concept of Land Use Functions (LUFs), and impacts on these LUFs are discussed with stakeholders based on a multi-criteria analysis. LUFs comprise economic, environmental and social indicators relevant for stakeholders at multiple scales. Instead of focusing only on the indicators that determine the problem (e.g., nutrient leaching in the Chinese case study), we take a broader perspective (considering also social, economic and institutional objectives and constraints), such that feasible policy options can be recommended. Stakeholders have a large role in discussing the selection of indicators and policies (pre-modelling), evaluating the impacts on indicators (modelling), and the weighing of indicators and LUFs (post-modelling). For the assessment of impacts on indicators (modelling), quantitative and qualitative approaches are combined. We present and discuss an impact assessment of policy options in Taihu Basin, for the current situation and towards 2015. The methodological framework as presented here proved to be useful to guide a sustainability impact assessment in China and six other case study regions.
Integrated assessment of sustainability of agricultural systems and land use: Methods, tools and application
Bezlepkina, I. ; Reidsma, P. ; Sieber, S. ; Helming, K. - \ 2011
Agricultural Systems 104 (2011)2. - ISSN 0308-521X - p. 105 - 109.
special-issue - future - dynamics - support - europe
An IT perspective on integrated environmental modelling: The SIAT case
Verweij, P.J.F.M. ; Knapen, M.J.R. ; Winter, W.P. de; Wien, J.J.F. ; Roller, J.A. te; Sieber, S. ; Jansen, J.M.L. - \ 2010
Ecological Modelling 221 (2010)18. - ISSN 0304-3800 - p. 2167 - 2176.
decision-support-systems - management - methodology - interface - issues - tools
Policy makers have a growing interest in integrated assessments of policies. The Integrated Assessment Modelling (IAM) community is reacting to this interest by extending the application of model development from pure scientific analysis towards application in decision making or policy context by giving tools a higher capability for analysis targeted at non-experts, but intelligent users. Many parties are involved in the construction of such tools including modellers, domain experts and tool users, resulting in as many views on the proposed tool. During tool development research continues which leads to advanced understanding of the system and may alter early specifications. Accumulation of changes to the initial design obscures the design, usually vastly increasing the number of defects in the software. The software engineering community uses concepts, methods and practices to deal with ambiguous specifications, changing requirements and incompletely conceived visions, and to design and develop maintainable/extensible quality software. The aim of this paper is to introduce modellers to software engineering concepts and methods which have the potential to improve model and tool development using experiences from the development of the Sustainability Impact Assessment Tool. These range from choosing a software development methodology for planning activities and coordinating people, technical design principles impacting maintainability, quality and reusability of the software to prototyping and user involvement. It is argued that adaptive development methods seem to best fit research projects, that typically have unclear upfront and changing requirements. The break-down of a system into elements that overlap as little as possible in features and behaviour helps to divide the work across teams and to achieve a modular and flexible system. However, this must be accompanied by proper automated testing methods and automated continuous integration of the elements. Prototypes, screen sketches and mock-ups are useful to align the different views, build a shared vision of required functionality and to match expectations.
Policy relevance of three integrated assessment tools - A comparison with specific reference to agricultural policies
Uthes, S. ; Fricke, K. ; Konig, H. ; Zander, P. ; Ittersum, M.K. van; Sieber, S. ; Helming, K. ; Piorr, A. ; Muller, K. - \ 2010
Ecological Modelling 221 (2010)18. - ISSN 0304-3800 - p. 2136 - 2152.
land-use change - european-union - farm models - impact - biodiversity - uncertainty - netherlands - scenarios - countries - framework
The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), a system of market support instruments, direct income transfers, and rural development measures, has been put through an ongoing reform process in recent decades. This paper introduces three policy impact assessment tools (SIAT, SEAMLESS-IF, MEA-Scope tool) and analyses how these tools have responded to a number of challenges for integrated assessment modelling as reported in the international literature. Significant progress has been made with regard to modelling linkages whereas other challenges, particularly those related to issues of scale and uncertainty management, require further efforts. It is also analysed which CAP instruments are represented and what kinds of effects can be analysed at different scales. Market instruments and direct payments are comparatively well represented, while the ability to model rural development measures is mostly beyond the scope of these tools. Because each tool has found a different solution for coping with the common challenges of integrated assessment modelling, the choice of one of the tools for a particular application depends strongly on the policy questions being asked. The SIAT provides the big picture via its ability to represent broad changes in policy instruments with EU-wide cross-sector impacts. The most comprehensive analysis of agricultural policy instruments can be obtained with SEAMLESS-IF. The MEA-Scope tool complements the other two approaches with detailed regional profiles
Model-based systems to support impact assessment-Methods, tools and applications
Sieber, S. ; Zander, P. ; Verburg, P.H. ; Ittersum, M.K. van - \ 2010
Ecological Modelling 221 (2010). - ISSN 0304-3800 - p. 2133 - 2135.
integrated assessment - framework
Bridging the gap between science and decision makers for sustainable development of multifunctional land use in developing countries
König, H. ; Helming, K. ; Reidsma, P. ; Zhen, L. ; Feng, S. ; Sieber, S. ; Brouwer, F.M. - \ 2009
In: Proceedings of the Conference on Integrated Assessment of Agriculture and Sustainable Development: Setting the Agenda for Science and Policy (AgSAP 2009), Egmond aan Zee, The Netherlands, 10 - 12 March, 2009. - Wageningen : Wageningen University and Research Centre - ISBN 9789085854012 - p. 550 - 551.
Design and institutional embedment of the meta-model Sustainability Impact Assessment Tools (SIAT)
Sieber, S. ; Verweij, P.J.F.M. ; Müller, K. ; Tscherning, K. ; Helming, K. - \ 2009
In: Proceedings of the Conference on Integrated Assessment of Agriculture and Sustainable Development: Setting the Agenda for Science and Policy (AgSAP 2009).Egmond aan Zee, The Netherlands, 10 - 12 March, 2009. - Wageningen : Wageningen University and Research Centre, Wageningen - ISBN 9789085854012 - p. 548 - 549.
2008, D2.3 - Defining sustainable development in the context of LUPIS. LUPIS integrated project
Verburg, R. ; Bezlepkina, I. ; McNeill, D. ; Bonin, M. ; Sieber, S. ; Reidsma, P. ; Gachimbi, L. ; Gicheru, P. ; Sghaier, M. ; Feng, S. ; Purushothaman, S. ; Widyatmanti, W. ; Sartohadi, J. ; Rodrigues, S. - \ 2008
EU 6th Framework Programme (
D4.2.1 - Preliminary Indicator Framework for assessment of land use policies in developing countries
Reidsma, P. ; König, H. ; Sieber, S. ; Tscherning, K. ; Helming, K. ; Bezlepkina, I. ; Ittersum, M.K. van - \ 2008
LUPIS, EU 6th Framework Programme (
D4.1 - Methodological framework for the complementary use of mainly SENSOR and SEAMLESS approaches for sustainability impact assessment of land use policies in developing countries
Reidsma, P. ; König, H. ; Feng, S. ; Bezlepkina, I. ; Verburg, R. ; Ittersum, M.K. van; Keulen, H. van; Ewert, F. ; Nesheim, I. ; McNeill, D. ; Kuiper, M. ; Bonin, M. ; Sieber, S. ; Tscherning, K. ; Helming, K. ; Brouwer, F. - \ 2008
LUPIS, EU 6th Framework Programme (
Chapter three Bridging the gaps between design and use: Developing tools to support environmental management and policy
McIntosh, B.S. ; Giupponi, C. ; Voinov, A.A. ; Smith, C. ; Matthews, K.B. ; Monticino, M. ; Kolkman, M.J. ; Crossman, N. ; Ittersum, M.K. van; Haase, D. ; Haase, A. ; Mysiak, J. ; Groot, J.C.J. ; Sieber, S. ; Verweij, P. ; Quinn, N. ; Waeger, P. ; Gaber, N. ; Hepting, D. ; Scholten, H. ; Sulis, A. ; Delden, H. van; Gaddis, E. ; Assaf, H. - \ 2008
In: Developments in integrated environmental assessment / Jakeman, A.J., Voinov, A.A., Rizzoli, A.E., Chen, S.H., Elsevier (Environmental Modelling, Software and Decision Support Volume 3) - ISBN 9780080568867 - p. 33 - 48.
Integrated assessment models, decision support systems (DSS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are examples of a growing number of computer-based tools designed to provide decision and information support to people engaged in formulating and implementing environmental policy and management. It is recognised that environmental policy and management users are often not as receptive to using such tools as desired but that little research has been done to uncover and understand the reasons. There is a diverse range of environmental decision and information support tools (DISTs) with uses including organisational and participatory decision support, and scientific research. The different uses and users of DISTs each present particular needs and challenges to the tool developers. The lack of appreciation of the needs of end-users by developers has contributed to the lack of success of many DISTs. Therefore it is important to engage users and other stakeholders in the tool development process to help bridge the gap between design and use. Good practice recommendations for developers to involve users include being clear about the purpose of the tool, working collaboratively with other developers and stakeholders, and building social and scientific credibility
Ex ante impact assessment of land use changes in European regions - The SENSOR approach
Helming, K. ; Tscherning, K. ; König, B. ; Sieber, S. ; Wiggering, H. ; Kuhlman, T. ; Wascher, D.M. ; Pérez-Soba, M. ; Smeets, P.J.A.M. ; Tabbush, P. ; Dilly, O. ; Hüttl, R.F. ; Bach, H. - \ 2008
In: Sustainability Impact Assessment of Land Use Changes / Helming, K., Pérez-Soba, M., Tabbush, P., Berlin : Springer - ISBN 9783540786474 - p. 77 - 105.
Land use includes those human activities that exhibit a spatial dimension and that change the bio-geophysical conditions of land. Land use policy making at European level aims at fostering sustainability pathways of natural resource use and rural development through the decoupling of economic growth from environmental degradation while supporting social cohesion in rural areas. Targeted policy making requires tools for the ex ante assessment of impacts of policy driven land use changes on sustainable development opportunities in European regions. These tools have to cover all relevant land use sectors and impact issues including their interrelations. They have to be spatially explicit, allow scenario analysis of possible future developments, be based on reproducible analyses, and be transparent and easy to use. The European Commission funded Integrated Project SENSOR is dedicated to develop such ex-ante Sustainability Impact Assessment Tools (SIAT) for land use in European regions. SIAT is designed as a meta modelling toolkit, in which global economic trend and policy scenarios are translated into land use changes at 1km2 grid resolution for the area of Europe. Based on qualitative and quantitative indicator analyses, impacts of simulated land use changes on social, environmental and economic sustainability issues are assessed at regional (NUTS2/3) scale. Valuation of these impacts is based on the concept of multifunctionality of land use. It is conducted through expert and stakeholder valuations leading to the determination of sustainability choice spaces for European regions. This paper presents the analytical approach in SENSOR and describes the impact assessment framework
A methodological framework for integrated assessment of land use policies and sustainable development in developing countries
Reidsma, P. ; Konig, H. ; Nesheim, I. ; Bezlepkina, I. ; Kuiper, M. ; Ittersum, M.K. van; Ewert, F. ; Tscherning, K. ; Sieber, S. ; Helming, K. ; Brouwer, F. - \ 2008
In: Impact Assessment of Land Use Changes: book of abstracts: international conference, April 6-9, Berlin, Germany. - Berlin : Humboldt University - p. 21 - 21.
Sustainability Impact Assessment Tools (SIAT) for European Analysis
Sieber, S. ; Verweij, P.J.F.M. ; Wien, J.J.F. ; Pohle, D. ; Fricke, K. ; Müller, K. ; Pacini, C. ; Haraldsson, H. - \ 2008
In: Impact Assessment of Land Use Changes: International Conference, Book of abstracts, Berlin, Germany, April 6-9, 2008. - Berlin (Germany) : Humboldt University Unter den Linden - p. 15 - 15.
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