Bridging the Gaps Between Design and Use: Developing Tools to Support Environmental Management and Policy (2008)


  • Environmental Modelling, Software and Decision Support


  • B.S. McIntosh
  • C. Giupponi
  • A.A. Voinov
  • C. Smith
  • K.B. Matthews
  • M. Monticino
  • M.J. Kolkman
  • N. Crossman
  • M. van Ittersum
  • D. Haase
  • A. Haase
  • J. Mysiak
  • J.C.J. Groot
  • S. Sieber
  • P. Verweij
  • N. Quinn
  • P. Waeger
  • N. Gaber
  • D. Hepting
  • H. Scholten
  • A. Sulis
  • H. van Delden
  • E. Gaddis
  • H. Assaf


Integrated assessment models, decision support systems (DSS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are examples of a growing number of computer-based tools designed to provide decision and information support to people engaged in formulating and implementing environmental policy and management. It is recognised that environmental policy and management users are often not as receptive to using such tools as desired but that little research has been done to uncover and understand the reasons. There is a diverse range of environmental decision and information support tools (DISTs) with uses including organisational and participatory decision support, and scientific research. The different uses and users of DISTs each present particular needs and challenges to the tool developers. The lack of appreciation of the needs of end-users by developers has contributed to the lack of success of many DISTs. Therefore it is important to engage users and other stakeholders in the tool development process to help bridge the gap between design and use. Good practice recommendations for developers to involve users include being clear about the purpose of the tool, working collaboratively with other developers and stakeholders, and building social and scientific credibility.


	Author =  “McIntosh, B.S. and Giupponi, C. and Voinov, A.A. and Smith, C. and Matthews, K.B. and Monticino, M. and Kolkman, M.J. and Crossman, N. and van Ittersum, M. and Haase, D. and Haase, A. and Mysiak, J. and Groot, J.C.J. and Sieber, S. and Verweij, P. and Quinn, N. and Waeger, P. and Gaber, N. and Hepting, D. and Scholten, H. and Sulis, A. and van Delden, H. and Gaddis, E. and Assaf, H.”,
	Title =  “Environmental Modelling, Software and Decision Support”,
	Url = "",
	Editor =  “Jakeman, A.J. and Voinov, A.A. and Rizzoli, A.E. and Chen, S.H.”,
	Booktitle =  “Environmental Modelling, Software and Decision Support”,
	Chapter =  “Bridging the Gaps Between Design and Use: Developing Tools to Support Environmental Management and Policy”,
	Doi =  “10.1016/S1574-101X(08)00603-0”,
	Issn =  “1574-101X”,
	Keywords =  “decision support, information support, environmental management, environmental policy, decision support tools”,
	Month =  “October”,
	Pages =  “33–48”,
	Publisher =  “Elsevier”,
	Series =  “Developments in Integrated Environmental Assessment”,
	Volume =  “3”,
	Year =  “2008”,