Participatory Modelling

This page deals with the set of methods related to participatory modelling, which refers to settings where non-scientist stakeholders are involved in any of the stages of the modelling process of their social-ecological systems (SES). The content on this page discusses system dynamics models, agent-based models, role-playing games, expert models, state-and-transition models, soft system methodologies, collaborative modelling, companion modelling and participatory system analysis as major types of participatory modelling methods used in SES research.

The Chapter summary video gives a brief introduction and summary of this group of methods, what SES problems/questions they are useful for, and key resources needed to conduct the methods. The methods video/s introduce specific methods, including their origin and broad purpose, what SES problems/questions the specific method is useful for, examples of the method in use and key resources needed. The Case Studies demonstrate the method in action in more detail, including an introduction to the context and issue, how the method was used, the outcomes of the process and the challenges of implementing the method. The labs/activities give an example of a teaching activity relating to this group of methods, including the objectives of the activity, resources needed, steps to follow and outcomes/evaluation options.

More details can be found in Chapter 13 of the Routledge Handbook of Research Methods for Social-Ecological Systems.

Chapter summary:

This video introduces the concept of Participatory Modelling.

Method Summaries

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Case Studies

Using Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping to investigate bushmeat hunting in Malawi

van Velden, J. (2022)

Lab teaching/ activity

There are no lab teachings or activities for Participatory Modelling yet. Please consider contributing.

Tips and Tricks

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Key Publications related to Participatory Modelling:
  • Barreteau, O., P. Bots, K. Daniell, M. Etienne, P. Perez, C. Barnaud, D. Bazile et al. 2013. ‘Participatory Approaches.’ In Simulating Social Complexity: A Handbook (2nd ed), edited by B. Edmonds and R. Meyer, 197–234. Berlin: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-93813-2_10.
  • Hare, M. 2011. ‘Forms of Participatory Modelling and its Potential for Widespread Adoption in the Water Sector.’ Environmental Policy and Governance 21(6): 386–402. doi:10.1002/eet.590.
  • Van Bruggen, A., I. Nikolic, and J. Kwakkel. 2019. ‘Modeling with Stakeholders for Transformative Change.’ Sustainability 11(3): 825. doi:10.3390/su11030825.
  • Voinov, A., K. Jenni, S. Gray, N. Kolagani, P.D. Glynn, P. Bommel, C. Prell et al. 2018. ‘Tools and Methods in Participatory Modeling: Selecting the Right Tool for the Job.’ Environmental Modelling and Software 109: 232–255. doi:10.1016/j.envsoft.2018.08.028.
  • Voinov, A., N. Kolagani, M.K. McCall, P.D. Glynn, M.E. Kragt, F.O. Ostermann, S.A. Pierce, and P. Ramu. 2016. ‘Modelling with Stakeholders – Next Generation.’ Environmental Modelling and Software 77: 196 –220.