Publications hosted on this site

Here are links to a range of material hosted on this site. Please use the index on the left to look around and access links to many other reports, papers and websites elsewhere on the Internet.

How Decision Support Systems can benefit from a Theory of Change approach. This 2017 paper by Will Allen, Jen Cruz & Bruce Warburton illustrates how to use an outcomes-based approach called Theory of Change (ToC) in conjunction with DSS development to support both wider problem-framing and outcomes-based monitoring and evaluation.

Wheel of Water research programme. This page lists some of the outputs I was involved in as part of my involvement in  this 6-year research programme (2011 – 2017) looking at collaborative decision making for setting water quality and quantity limits in New Zealand. The project supports integrated decision making and processes that take into account environmental, economic, social and cultural implications at the catchment scale.

www_icon  Bridging disciplines, knowledge systems and cultures in pest management This 2014 Environmental Management paper by Will Allen, Shaun Ogilvie, Helen Blackie and colleagues describes how their research team with a range of disciplinary and stakeholder expertise was able to use an action research based approach to critically reflect on their engagement practice and identify lessons around how to collaborate more effectively. They discuss the implications of these experiences for other researchers and managers seeking to improve engagement and collaboration in integrated science, management and policy initiatives.

Fraser, C., Fenemor, A., Turner, J., Allen, W. (2014) The Wheel of Water Research Programme: Designing collaborative catchment decision-making processes using a WaterWheel– reflections from two case studies, MBIE, C1205601. Aqualinc Research Limited. A short summary of this work is also available here.

 Effective indicators for freshwater management: attributes and frameworks for development This 2012 report by Will Allen, Andrew Fenemor and David Wood outlines key steps for indicator-based reporting. These include include involving the right people, and clarifying with them the purpose, scope and scale of the management system under consideration. Attention is also paid to indicator chanracteristics, and the capacities and systems required to support collaborative adaptive management.

pdf Building collaboration and learning in integrated catchment management: the importance of social process and multiple engagement approaches This 2011 paper by Will Allen and colleagues builds on a 10-year integrated catchment management research programme to review emerging lessons around engagement and social learning. The authors look at different research actities and show how they can be fitted into different disciplinary categories – disciplinary, multi-disciplinary, inter-disciplinary and transdisciplinary. The paper provides examples of how the team supported interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary activities. Finally, a number of lessons are described from across the programme to guide research leaders and managers seeking to improve collaboration in other integrated science, management and policy initiatives.

Three frameworks to understand and manage social processes for integrated catchment management. This paper by Margaret Kilvington and colleagues examines the role of social frameworks in supporting ICM research in the Motueka catchment over 10 years. It reviews use of the ISKM (integrated systems for knowledge management) framework for sharing information between different stakeholder groups (Allen 2001) and the Orders of Outcomes framework (Olsen 2003) for evaluating outcomes over long time periods. In particular it introduces the Social Spaces framework as a new tool for visualizing diverse communication and collaboration needs across a project.

pdf Supporting Collective Action in Pest Management – Aims and Frameworks This 2009 report by Will Allen and Chrys Horn introduces concepts that articulate and frame the social directions and processes required to support collective action in many natural resource management issues. It looks at the capacities and skills required. It also offers a checklist for evaluating collaborative action as a final appendix.

pdf Who do you think you are? An examination of how systems thinking can help social marketing support new identities and more sustainable living patterns This 2010 paper by Denise Conroy and Will Allen in the Australasian Marketing Journal looks at how suystems thinking could inform more effective social marketing initiatives. They point out that many campaigns leave fundamental systematic environmental challenges unchanged, and may even undermine any considerations that people have around the change direction. They suggest that changing behaviour is ultimately about helping society and individuals in reframing their identity. A systems theory approach, which acknowledges society as a complex adaptive system, is suggested as providing a useful framework for social marketing campaigns in supporting new identities and increasing sustained behavioural change.

www_iconKilvington, M.J., (2010) Building Capacity for Social Learning in Environmental Management This social learning thesis done through Lincoln University examines the origins and uses of the social learning construct, and looks at what it has come to mean in environmental management. Through four New Zealand case studies it looks at how the concept has been (and could be) usefully operationalised. In particular it provides a four part framework for understanding and assessing the social learning challenges of complex problem solving situations, and links social learning with participatory and developmental evaluation(P & D evaluation) as a vehicle for building capacity for social learning in environmental management programmes.

pdfApgar, J.M., (2010) Adaptive Capacity and Endogenous Development of Kuna Yala, an Indigenous Biocultural System This human ecology thesis done through Lincoln University presents collaborative research undertaken with the Kuna indigenous peoples in Kuna Yala, a semi-autonomous indigenous territory in Panama. The Kuna experience of ongoing governance through traditional practices was chosen as an informative example through which to build understanding of the underlying processes that support endogenous development with the objective of contributing to a reframing of development and supporting self-determination of indigenous peoples.

Phillips, C., Allen, W., Fenemor, A., Bowden, B., Young, R (2010) Integrated catchment management research: Lessons for interdisciplinary science from the Motueka Catchment, New Zealand. In this paper, we reflect on the challenges confronting research programs attempting to operate in an integrative and collaborative manner, using the New Zealand-based ICM Motueka River research program as a case study.  Based on experiences distilled from nearly a decade of involvement in this integrated research program, we present seven key lessons so that others can learn of the benefits and difficulties that confront scientists and stakeholders involved in similar inter- and trans-disciplinary research.

pdfApgar, J.M., Argumedo, A. & Allen, W. (2009) Building Transdisciplinarity for Managing Complexity: Lessons from Indigenous Practice. This paper published in the International Journal of Interdiscplinary Social Sciences shows how transdisciplinary approaches can help different stakeholder groups to share and use their knowledge and experience for problem focused inquiry. it points out that facilitating transdisciplinarity requires good dialogue processes and the development of holistic frameworks. Through reflecting on participatory action research initiatives with the Kuna and Quechua indigenous peoples it highlights that indigenous societies have developed over time strong dialogue processes, and continue to link them to a holistic view of the world allowing them to manage complex societal problems. The paper then offers a new approach to promoting transdisciplinarity from the Indigenous Peoples’ Climate Change initiative, starting with frameworks that recognise complexity and can facilitate dialogue.

pdf  Learning about the social elements of adaptive management in the South Island tussock grasslands of New Zealand” This 2009 chapter from Will Allen and Chris Jacobson use a case study set in the South Island high country of New Zealand to reflect on some of the social elements required to support ongoing collaborative monitoring and adaptive management. We begin by siting the case study within its wider policy context to show how this influences the choice of scientific inquiry. The next section concentrates particularly on the processes by which information and knowledge are shared across the different stakeholder groups involved. Finally, we expand on some specific lessons that emerge as important for sharing information and knowledge in adaptive management, including tools to support dialogue and improved tools for evaluation.

pdfKaren Cronin (2008) Transdisciplinary research (TDR) and sustainability This report was commissioned by the New Zealand Ministry of Research, Science and Technology (MoRST). It looks at the emergence of transdisciplinary research, including theoretical and practical developments internationally and in New Zealand, and its potential to contribute to sustainability outcomes. It provides a good overview of definitions and outlines the characteristics and steps involved in TDR. Attention is paid to both challenges and benefits of this way of working, and its potential use in the future is discussed.

pdfBuilding Resilience in Rural Communities: Toolkit This 2008 Australian toolkit is the outcome of a three year research project by Desley Hegney, Helen Rossand colleagues who examined resilience in the rural community of Stanthorpe in Queensland. It consists of a series of information sheets explaining the purpose of the toolkit and outlining 11 resilience concepts found to be pivotal in enhancing individual and community resilience. The toolkit is designed to be used by program co-ordinators such as community workers, health professionals, and others working with individuals and groups and community leaders. It can be used in a number of ways – in existing programs, making modifications to include resilience concepts and in new programs to assist in the selecting of concepts most relevant to the program.

Using participatory and learning-based approaches for environmental management to help achieve constructive behaviour change This report from Will Allen, Margaret Kilvington, and Chrys Horn looks at how agencies can influence people’s behaviour to improve environmental management. It highlights new approaches that work with multi-stakeholder groups and teams, in particular those which improve motivation, information flows, and collaborative learning. The report covers four main areas: i) a review of contemporary approaches to environmental policy making; ii) a review of frameworks for supporting behaviour change; iii) providing an outline of the key concepts for managing participation in practice; and iv) a description of techniques for building group capacity for environmental change.

www_iconAllen, W.J. (2001) Working together for environmental management: the role of information sharing and collaborative learning. PhD (Development Studies), Massey University.  This thesis represents an inquiry into how an adaptive management ethic and practice that supports the concept of sustainable development can be initiated and implemented in complex, regional or large-scale contexts. An action research inquiry process is used to find improved ways of managing collaborative or multi-stakeholder approaches to environmental management, and to develop an integrated information framework to underpin subsequent decision making.

www_iconBorrini-Feyerabend, G., Farvar, M. T., Nguinguiri, J. C. & Ndangang, V. A. (2000) Co-management of Natural Resources: Organising, Negotiating and Learning-by-Doing. GTZ and IUCN, Kasparek Verlag, Heidelberg (Germany).  This on-line document (92 pages)provides a comprehensive guide-for-action of the use of collaborative management (CM) to help address environmental and natural resource issues. It provides guidelines for multi-stakeholder management of natural resources and describes in detail relevant concepts, methods and tools. The test is accompanied by definition boxes, example boxes, checklists, annexes illustrating participatory methods and tools of particular relevance for co-management processes, lessons learned, tips for action and a list of references and suggested readings.

www_iconMargot Parkes & Ruth Panelli (2001) Integrating catchment ecosystems and community health: The value of participatory action research. Ecosystem Health 7(2).  In addition to a methodological overview of Participatory Action Research, this paper reviews other participatory, community, action and ecosystems-based methods. Commonalities in principles and methods are highlighted across a number of fields of research and practice including rural and community development, public health and health promotion, natural resource management, environmental health, and integrated ecosystem-based approaches. Lessons learnt from application of Participatory Action Research are described in relation to a catchment and community health project, based in the Taieri River catchment, New Zealand.

www_iconAllen, W.J. 1997: Towards improving the role of evaluation within natural resource management R&D programmes: The case for learning by doing. Canadian Journal of Development Studies (Special issue on results-based evaluation) 18: 629-643.  The increasing use of participatory development approaches in recent years pose new challenges for decision-makers and evaluators. Because these programmes are designed to be responsive to changing community needs, one of the most pressing challenges is to develop participatory and systems-based evaluative processes to allow for ongoing learning, correction, and adjustment by all parties concerned. This paper outlines one such evaluation process, and uses a case study in New Zealand to illustrate its benefits in the light of current issues facing both evaluators and natural resource managers.

www_iconValues, technology and tomorrow. A very early paper of mine in Proceedings of Seminar: “Changing Direction – A New Social & Political Agenda for the 21st Century”, Victoria University, Wellington, 19 February 1993. Pacific Institute of Resource Managment: Wellington ISBN No. 0-908880-02-3.

Please use the index on the top bar to look around and access links to many other reports, papers and websites elsewhere on the Internet.