Staff Publications

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.
Pollution source control by water utilities – characterisation and implications for water management: research results from England and Wales
Spiller, M. ; McIntosh, B.S. ; Seaton, R.A.F. ; Jeffrey, P. - \ 2013
Water and Environment Journal 27 (2013)2. - ISSN 1747-6585 - p. 177 - 186.
cooperative agreements - policy
The treatment of agriculturally polluted water to potable standards is costly for water companies. Changes in agricultural practice can reduce these costs while also meeting the objectives of European Union (EU) environmental legislation. In this paper, the uptake of source control interventions (SCIs) by water and sewage companies in England and Wales as a means of controlling agricultural pollution is investigated. Data were gathered using semistructured interviews with water and sewage company representatives. Interview data were processed using thematic and content analysis. Results showed that SCIs are increasingly being adopted in England and Wales. Of the four types of SCI identified, the so-called ‘Liaison’ type dominated. This type of intervention requires intermediary organisations with local expertise in water catchments. Differences in pollution source control between EU countries, and England and Wales are examined. Evidence indicated that ‘Liaison’ SCI s types may be more prevalent in countries where water supplies are privatised.
Implementing Pollution Source Control—Learning from the Innovation Process in English and Welsh Water Companies
Spiller, M. ; McIntosh, B.S. ; Seaton, R.A.F. ; Jeffrey, P. - \ 2013
Water Resources Management 27 (2013)1. - ISSN 0920-4741 - p. 75 - 94.
cooperative agreements - perspective - management - systems
Improving the stimulation and management of innovation by water utilities is a key mechanism through which the challenges of securing sustainable water and wastewater services will be achieved. This paper describes the process of adopting source control interventions (SCIs) by water and sewerage companies (WaSCs) in England and Wales. SCIs can be defined as efforts by water suppliers to control agricultural pollution where it arises. To investigate differences in the extent to which SCIs have and are being adopted across all ten WaSCs in England and Wales, Rogers’ five stage innovation model is used to structure and interpret results from a series of semi-structured interviews with raw water quality and catchment management personnel. Results suggest that to promote SCI innovation by WaSCs, regulation should be designed in two interdependent ways. First, regulation must generate awareness of a performance gap so as to set an agenda for change and initiate innovation. This can be achieved either through direct regulation or regulation which raises the awareness of an organisations performance gap, for example through additional monitoring. Simultaneously, regulation needs to create possibilities for implementation of innovation through enabling WaSCs to utilise SCIs where appropriate. Evidence from the research suggests that appropriate intermediary organisations can assist in this process by providing a resource of relevant and local knowledge and data. Future research should seek to characterise the factors affecting each stage in the WaSC innovation process both to confirm the conclusions of this study and to reveal more detail about various influences on innovation outcomes.
An organisational innovation perspective on change in water and wastewater systems – the implementation of the Water Framework Directive in England and Wales
Spiller, M. ; McIntosh, B.S. ; Seaton, R.A.F. ; Jeffrey, P.J. - \ 2012
Urban Water Journal 9 (2012)2. - ISSN 1573-062X - p. 113 - 128.
management - resources - future - cities
This paper presents an assessment of how the European Water Framework Directive (WFD) is stimulating change in water and wastewater management. The paper aims to provide an organisational innovation contribution towards understanding the processes by which policy and legislation stimulate change in water and wastewater systems. Results were produced by analysing interviews with environmental managers from all water and sewerage companies in England and Wales. Results show that integrated water supply approaches are emerging in response to the WFD, while wastewater approaches are not changing to the same extent. Reasons for this difference are located in a mix of factors including: economic regulation; conflicting national and EU regulations; uncertainty; lock-in to infrastructure; the way in which different WaSCs frame business problems and opportunities, and a lack of technological knowledge. Results are discussed against an international review of water sector change and against government reviews of the water sector economic regulator.
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.
Perceived effectiveness of environmental decision support systems in participatory planning: Evidence from small groups of end-users
Inman, D. ; Blind, M. ; Ribarova, I. ; Krause, A. ; Roosenschoon, O.R. ; Kassahun, A. ; Scholten, H. ; Arampatzis, G. ; Abrami, G. ; McIntosh, B.S. ; Jeffrey, P. - \ 2011
Environmental Modelling & Software 26 (2011)3. - ISSN 1364-8152 - p. 302 - 309.
bayesian belief networks - management - acceptance - conflict - choice - information - difficulty - impact - tools
The challenges associated with evaluating the effectiveness of environmental decision support systems (EDSS) based on the perceptions of only a small sample of end-users are well understood. Although methods adopted from Management Information Systems (MISs) evaluation research have benefited from relatively large (100+) sample sizes, permitting the use of multi-criteria analysis of users perceptions, there are few examples of methods for quantifying effectiveness based on smaller groups of end-users. Use of environmental decision support systems in Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) has become increasingly prevalent over the passed twenty years, where their potential for facilitating the participatory process has been recognised; however, few quantitative assessments have been reported. This paper reports the application of a quantitative approach to evaluating environmental decision support systems with small groups of end-users in two case studies where the objective was to facilitate the participatory decision-making process in water management projects. The first case study involved nine end-users applying and evaluating a Bayesian network-based tool to facilitate water demand management implementation in Sofia, the capital city of Bulgaria. The second involved eleven end-users applying and evaluating an integrated tool – the Integrated Solution Support System (I3S) - during a water stress mitigation project in a European context. End-users’ perceptions of effectiveness were elicited and compared using statistical analysis. The results of the two case studies suggest that end-user’s employment influences their perceptions of EDSS effectiveness. We also show how the applied evaluation method is flexible enough to assess different EDSS types from a range of dimensions.
Preface: Thematic issue on the assessment and evaluation of environmental models and software
McIntosh, B.S. ; Alexandrov, G. ; Matthews, K. ; Mysiak, J. ; Ittersum, M.K. van - \ 2011
Environmental Modelling & Software 26 (2011)3. - ISSN 1364-8152 - p. 245 - 246.
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
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