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Systems Analysis to Promote Frames and Mental Models for Sustainable Water Management

Hjorth, Peder LU and Madani, Kaveh (2013) Proceedings of the 3rd World Sustainability Forum In Sciforum Electronic Conference Series 3.
Abstract
In the water sector, there have been numerous failures in projects aiming at sustainable development and there have been some, but less numerous, examples of successes. However, the most striking observation is the near universal failure to learn from these examples. Somehow, scientists and decision makers have allowed the indications of new approaches and opportunities go undetected because they did not fit with their mindsets or perceptual apparatus. This paper discusses some of the mental frames that have hampered the progress towards sustainable development. It analyzes where these frames come from, who is promoting or defending them, and what can be done to change these frames in ways that are more in line with the basic tenets of... (More)
In the water sector, there have been numerous failures in projects aiming at sustainable development and there have been some, but less numerous, examples of successes. However, the most striking observation is the near universal failure to learn from these examples. Somehow, scientists and decision makers have allowed the indications of new approaches and opportunities go undetected because they did not fit with their mindsets or perceptual apparatus. This paper discusses some of the mental frames that have hampered the progress towards sustainable development. It analyzes where these frames come from, who is promoting or defending them, and what can be done to change these frames in ways that are more in line with the basic tenets of sustainable development. It is found that there is a lack of consistency in the interpretation of sustainable development. Most sustainability initiatives have failed because the environment and development were never properly brought together. The “environment” is where we live: and “development” is what we all do in attempting to improve our lot within that abode. The two are unseparable (Our Common Future). Thus, there is a need to draw on diverse disciplinary perspectives and to cut across sectoral boundaries to counter the monovalent approaches that have dominated mainstream enquiry and practice. To that end, systems analysis can help produce enabling frameworks for process changes. These frameworks should define general objectives and means of verification of progress without specifying uniform approaches and activities. Systems analysis is also a methodology helping to make sure that problems posed are adequately defined and that helps detecting biases in goal formulation stemming either from dominant actors or from “solution oriented approaches”. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
in
Sciforum Electronic Conference Series
volume
3
pages
10 pages
publisher
Sciforum.net
conference name
Proceedings of the 3rd World Sustainability Forum
DOI
10.3390/wsf3-f003
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
9dc816bc-d319-4cae-805b-5d5ad1c93238 (old id 5051859)
date added to LUP
2015-02-19 14:05:33
date last changed
2016-04-16 09:27:47
@inproceedings{9dc816bc-d319-4cae-805b-5d5ad1c93238,
  abstract     = {In the water sector, there have been numerous failures in projects aiming at sustainable development and there have been some, but less numerous, examples of successes. However, the most striking observation is the near universal failure to learn from these examples. Somehow, scientists and decision makers have allowed the indications of new approaches and opportunities go undetected because they did not fit with their mindsets or perceptual apparatus. This paper discusses some of the mental frames that have hampered the progress towards sustainable development. It analyzes where these frames come from, who is promoting or defending them, and what can be done to change these frames in ways that are more in line with the basic tenets of sustainable development. It is found that there is a lack of consistency in the interpretation of sustainable development. Most sustainability initiatives have failed because the environment and development were never properly brought together. The “environment” is where we live: and “development” is what we all do in attempting to improve our lot within that abode. The two are unseparable (Our Common Future). Thus, there is a need to draw on diverse disciplinary perspectives and to cut across sectoral boundaries to counter the monovalent approaches that have dominated mainstream enquiry and practice. To that end, systems analysis can help produce enabling frameworks for process changes. These frameworks should define general objectives and means of verification of progress without specifying uniform approaches and activities. Systems analysis is also a methodology helping to make sure that problems posed are adequately defined and that helps detecting biases in goal formulation stemming either from dominant actors or from “solution oriented approaches”.},
  author       = {Hjorth, Peder and Madani, Kaveh},
  booktitle    = {Sciforum Electronic Conference Series},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {10},
  publisher    = {Sciforum.net},
  title        = {Systems Analysis to Promote Frames and Mental Models for Sustainable Water Management},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/wsf3-f003},
  volume       = {3},
  year         = {2013},
}