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A Concept for Testing Decision Support Tools in Participatory Processes Applied to the ToSIA Tool

1
European Forest Institute, Torikatu 34, 80100 Joensuu, Finland
2
Forest Research, Roslin, Midlothian EH25 9SY, UK
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Challenges 2013, 4(1), 34-55; https://doi.org/10.3390/challe4010034
Received: 14 January 2013 / Revised: 18 March 2013 / Accepted: 24 March 2013 / Published: 17 April 2013
ToSIA (Tool for Sustainability Impact Assessment) offers a transparent and consistent methodological framework to assess impacts of changes (technological, policy, management, etc.) in the forest-based sector. This tool is able to facilitate the decision making process within and between diverse groups of stakeholders (e.g., forest managers and policymakers) as it provides a neutral, transparent and data-driven platform for stakeholder interaction and communication. To test these capabilities of ToSIA, a practical approach to test if a decision support system is suitable for participatory processes was developed based on a set of evaluation criteria for participatory processes. ToSIA’s performance was assessed and discussed in different categories against a selection of criteria for successful participatory processes: six criteria were fulfilled by ToSIA, in nine, ToSIA is potentially helpful, in two, criteria ToSIA has no influence, and for three criteria, no experiences exist until now. As a result, ToSIA’s conceptual suitability as a participatory decision support system was confirmed for two interlinked roles: as a decision support system to assess alternative scenarios, and as a communication platform for stakeholder interaction. View Full-Text
Keywords: ToSIA (Tool for Sustainability Impact Assessment); pDSS (participatory Decision Support System); decision defence; stakeholder interaction; participatory process; science-policy interface ToSIA (Tool for Sustainability Impact Assessment); pDSS (participatory Decision Support System); decision defence; stakeholder interaction; participatory process; science-policy interface
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Tuomasjukka, D.; Lindner, M.; Edwards, D. A Concept for Testing Decision Support Tools in Participatory Processes Applied to the ToSIA Tool. Challenges 2013, 4, 34-55.

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