DPSIR (Drivers, Pressures, States, Impacts, Responses)

DPSIR (Drivers, Pressures, States, Impacts, responses) is a framework in which you can look at and analyse the important and interlinked relationship between social and environmental factors. Its a well received popular framework internationally.

The DPSIR model is a good analytical framework for assessing water issues. Because fresh water management looks at continuously fluctuating complex aquatic ecosystems and the its relationship to surrounding populations, it is useful to be able to examine – the state of -, and – impacts on – these ecosystems in not just the present but also through time.


DPSIR—Two Decades of Trying to Develop a Unifying Framework for Marine Environmental Management?
Determining and assessing the links between human pressures and state-changes in marine and coastal ecosystems remains a challenge. Although there are several conceptual frameworks for describing these links, the Drivers-Pressures-State change-Impact-Response (DPSIR) framework has been widely adopted. This 2016 paper by Joana Patricio and colleagues begins to highlight the indicators which are needed to enable feedback on the resulting impact of current and future policy choices.  Challenges in use primarily relate to the long standing variation in interpretation (mainly between natural and social scientists) of the different components (particularly P, S, and I) and to over-simplification of environmental problems such that cause-effect relationships cannot be adequately understood by treating the different DPSIR components as being mutually exclusive. More complex, nested, conceptual models and models with improved clarity are required to deal with wicked problems.  We emphasize the value of merging natural and social sciences and in showing similarities across human and natural environmental health. We show that previous approaches have adequately given conceptual and generic models but specificity and quantification is required.

Effective indicators for freshwater management: attributes and frameworks for development
This 2012 report is a good resource for getting ideas for identifying and selecting appropriate indicators. And is an introduction to how indicators can be used in catchment land and water management. It also goes over nicely two common frameworks used in environmental Management and Evaluation systems, Programme-based models and the Pressure-State-Response approaches.

The DPSIR Framework
This short 2004 paper goes over the DPSIR framework and looks at each key component in detail and how they relate to one another. It also has an emphasis on the use of DPSIR framework in relation to water issues.

Environmental indicators: Typology and overview
Here is a report that looks at what EEA uses in its reporting activities, both the EEA ’Typology of indicators’ and the DPSIR framework. It tries to help define common standards for future indicator reports. Their aim of the report was also to help policy-makers to understand the meaning of the information in indicator reports.

Applying DPSIR to sustainable development
Have a look at some problems and challenges people are finding with an approach such as DPSIR to the goal of sustainable development. The authors in this paper look at the lack of aggregated impacts of local, informal responses on drivers, pressures and states.

DPSIR—Two Decades of Trying to Develop a Unifying Framework for Marine Environmental Management?
This is a comprehensive review, with lessons learned after two decades of use. It looks at its effectiveness in practical use and highlights its need for standardization between natural and social scientists in the interpretation of the different components.

How the DPSIR framework can be used for structuring problems and facilitating empirical research in coastal systems
Here is a “structured review of literature on the DPSIR framework as applied to the function, process and components of complex coastal systems”.

Using the DPSIR framework for transdisciplinary training and knowledge elicitation in the Gulf of Thailand
Have a look at a cross-border, socio-ecological systems case study in Thailand and Cambodia. It looks at the suitability of DPSIR as a tool for analysis and communication, how it can promote discussion.

Drivers and pressures: Untangling the terms commonly used in marine science and policy
As identified in some of the resources above, there is a need to have a set upon and unified definitions within the frameworks on a global leave. For better communication between science and management and the international community. This article puts forward definitions compatible with the DPSIR within a marine focus.

Michael Allen
[Email: [email protected] - LinkedIn: Michael Allen]
I am a hydrogeologist and environmental scientist, with a focus on data science and environmental assessments. I am based in Berlin, and am currently working as a freelance consultant. I have developed strong research, analytical and technical skills through multiple projects and my recent Masters in Groundwater and Global Change from IHE Delft. I am open to both short- and long-term work opportunities to pursue my passion for environmental protection and remote sensing.