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Science- Policy Interface: Integrated Socio-Technical Assessment Framework to Achieve Interdisciplinarity Mukhtar Hashemi Associate Researcher, Newcastle.

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Presentation on theme: "Science- Policy Interface: Integrated Socio-Technical Assessment Framework to Achieve Interdisciplinarity Mukhtar Hashemi Associate Researcher, Newcastle."— Presentation transcript:

1 Science- Policy Interface: Integrated Socio-Technical Assessment Framework to Achieve Interdisciplinarity Mukhtar Hashemi Associate Researcher, Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainability, NIReS, Newcastle University, UK; 3-5 Dec 2012 Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) State of Kuwait International Workshop: Towards an Implementation Strategy for the “HIMA” Governance System: Theories, Concepts, Methodologies, Case Studies and Action Plans

2 Moving away from multi-disciplinary to inter- disciplinary research design To attain integrative synthesis of very complex social-ecological systems

3 Social-Ecological Systems (SES)

4 To develop an Integrated Socio-technical Framework by linking the elements of social and technical assessments approaches to implement Hima paradigm. With reference to governing principles of Hima Community-based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM), five main ingredients may be considered with the methodological approach

5 1.The underlying conceptual approach is provided by concepts such as CBNRM, IWRM, Sustainable Development and Ethics. 2.The analytical components are used to deal with technical and socio-political (institutional) aspects of natural resources system (NRS) sustainability. 3.Integrated Socio-technical Assessment tools are applied to provide evidences using reliable data about the NRS. 4.Role of Ethics and community belief systems are considered to (a) frame the mental models or perspectives of actors in decision-making process and (b) to provide evaluation criteria for analysis of the decision outcomes 5.Multitier Multi-stakeholder Platforms (MSPs) are crafted for participatory decision-making.

6 Meaning of of Framework combining different analytical components to form the single Integrated Socio-technical Framework Clement (2008) “ A framework identifies structures and links the relevant variables or elements that affect the issue in concern, but does not make any predictions a theory “ makes specific assumptions on the linkages between variables and outcomes ” and a model provides outcomes based on assumptions made in the theory and available data (inputs).

7 Criticism Some might criticise this approach of combining different analytical components into a single framework to be “an internally contradictory and messy approach, with a limited explanatory capacity” (Clement, 2008). However, we need to appreciate that these components are non-mutually exclusive and there are interfaces between them; hence they can be conceptually linked to each other.

8 Striving to be an interdisciplinary work a “ Sequential transformative design” (Robson, 2011) strategy may be used to develop the Framework. The application of the sequential transformative design is to translate the normative form of Hima concept into polices and strategies by assessing the outcomes of interactions of stakeholders in the participatory decision-making process using social and technical analytical components

9 Hima

10 Defining boundaries: at what scale? Administrative boundaries: ‘Decision’ scale Hydrological boundaries: Resource unit scale (the common pool) Ideal? Reality

11 Gamasiab River basin - Kurdistan Iran

12 Case study: Lake Urmia Basin, Iran Implementation on Socio-technical Assessment Framework

13 Lake Urmia Basin, NW Iran Lake catchment area within 3 provinces Significant decline in lake levels since mid- 1990’s. Min. target level

14 Historical account of lake levels (reproduced in Hashemi, 2012)

15 Integrated socio-technical framework: Lake Urmia basin, NW Iran Hashemi (2012)

16 Interfacing different components: focal unit of analysis

17 Institutional analysis: Multi-level action arena Hashemi (2012) National Basin Provincial Local

18 Water allocation cycle Hashemi (2012)

19 Conclusions

20 Need for an integrative synthesis many multidisciplinary teams have failed to produce integrative synthesis because the members “ carry out their analyses separately, as seen from the perspective of their individual disciplines, the final result being a series of reports pasted together, without any integrating synthesis” (Max-Neef, 2005).

21 Need for educational capacity development integrative inter-disciplinary approach cannot be achieved by amassing different brains; educational capacity development is needed to build a shared vision.

22 Working at the interface of social and physical sciences it is argued that interdisciplinary approach needs to be embraced to synchronise research in the interface of both social and physical sciences. An interface is defined as the points of interaction, interplay and linkage between technical and social (institutional) analytical components.

23 Questions? Thanks for your attention Acknowledgements: This is based on Research By Hashemi (2012) at Newcastle University supervised by Prof. Enda O’Connell, Dr Geoff Parkin and Dr Jaime Amezaga Acknowledgements: This is based on Research By Hashemi (2012) at Newcastle University supervised by Prof. Enda O’Connell, Dr Geoff Parkin and Dr Jaime Amezaga


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