Participatory Modelling Frameworks to Understand Wellbeing Trade-offs in Coastal Ecosystem Services

Lead PI
Dr Tim Daw
University of East Anglia, Development Studies
Start Date
1 November, 2010
End Date
1 December, 2012
Project Code

This project was designed to develop a framework and associated tools to explicitly identify trade-offs between ecosystem services and between the wellbeing of different stakeholders resulting from policy and development scenarios and environmental change.

Further project information, videos and documents

This project provided a background and proof of concept for the larger ESPA SPACES project (2013-2016)

Project Summary

P-Mowtick combined modelling and participatory processes to represent interactions and responses of social-ecological systems, and applied the developed framework to the coastal environment of Kenya through a series of expert and stakeholder workshops.

Ecosystem services (ES) have become popular for understanding linkages between human needs and ecosystems, yet their use in practical application to problems of development and sustainability, and poverty alleviation in particular, have been limited by various challenges. These challenges often stem from the inability for ES frameworks to take account of the complexity and interactions inherent in social-ecological systems.

It limits our understanding on how ES will ultimately translate into poverty alleviation. Particularly, we know that ES benefits depend not only on institutions and markets, but also on capital, knowledge, expertise, technology and labour - something that poor groups often lack. Also, we know that it is important to understand the inter-linkages between different aspects of well-being. These have serious implications for the effectiveness of using ES approach for poverty alleviation in the face of trade-offs of ES benefits to different groups.

There is a need for ES frameworks that account for trade-offs under the complexity of social-ecological systems with explicitly representation of poor groups. This project developed a novel framework to combine modelling and participatory processes to understand, document and deliberate on trade-offs between ES benefits to the wellbeing of different user groups in complex social-ecological systems.

We tested the framework in a case study of coastal environment of Kenya. We developed quantitative and semi-quantitative models to explore the impacts of scenarios on ES and wellbeing of particular groups. Linkages in the social-ecological system were modelled based on quantitative and qualitative knowledge about the interactions and responses between the social and ecological components.

Interspersed with model development and data collation, we conducted five workshops in East Africa with scientists, managers and stakeholders to: develop conceptual and methodological tools, plan scenarios, obtain model parameters, conduct multi-criteria analysis, and reflect and disseminate results. Workshops were closely facilitated towards specific objectives. The methods, experiences and learning were disseminated amongst scientists, and policy makers to support the ESPA programme.

The project provided a framework to study trade-offs in ecosystem services and facilitate the discussion of sharing of costs and benefits between users groups and in designing policy options. Particularly, the approach helped to increase the recognition of the poor-group in policy discussion related to ecosystem services, and thus contribute to developing policies that alleviate poverty.

Project videos

'Fish production and social trade-offs in Mombasa'

'Exploring tradeoffs in wellbeing in coastal systems in Kenya'

Authors Title Year Citations
Galafassi, D.;Daw, T.M.;Munyi, L.;Brown, K.;Barnaud, C.;Fazey, I. Learning about social-ecological trade-offs 2017
McClanahan, T.R. Biogeography versus resource management: how do they compare when prioritizing the management of coral reef fish in the south-western Indian Ocean? 2015 7
Daw, T.M.;Coulthard, S.;Cheung, W.W.L.;Brown, K.;Abunge, C.;Galafassi, D.;Peterson, G.D.;McClanahan, T.R.;Omukoto, J.O.;Munyi, L. Evaluating taboo trade-offs in ecosystems services and human well-being 2015 32
Abunge, C.;Coulthard, S.;Daw, T.M. Connecting Marine Ecosystem Services to Human Well-being: Insights from Participatory Well-being Assessment in Kenya 2013 13
Daw, T.;Brown, K.;Rosendo, S.;Pomeroy, R. Applying the ecosystem services concept to poverty alleviation: the need to disaggregate human well-being 2011 130
Name Role Organisation Country
Dr Tim Daw Kenya
Dr Tim Daw Lead Principal Investigator Stockholm University Sweden
Professor Kate Brown Co Investigator University of Exeter UK
Dr Wai Lung (William) Cheung Co Investigator University of British Columbia United Kingdom
Dr Sarah Coulthard Co Investigator Northumbria University United Kingdom
Dr Tim McClanahan Co Investigator Wildlife Conservation Society Kenya
Dr Garry Peterson Co Investigator Stockholm University Sweden
Cecile Barnaud Advisory Agricultural Research for Development (CIRAD) France
Crona Beatrice Advisory Stockholm Resilience Centre Sweden
Ioan Fazey Advisory University of St. Andrews United Kingdom
Sheila Heymans Advisory Scottish Association for Marine Science United Kingdom
Alistair McGregor Advisory Institute of Development Studies United Kingdom
Arthur Tuda Advisory Kenyan Wildlife Service Kenya
Lydiah Munyi Consultant Independent Consultant
Douglas Maina Project Management Wildlife Conservation Society Kenya
Caroline Abunge Researcher Wildlife Conservation Society Kenya
Dorice Agol Researcher University of East Anglia United Kingdom
Omuhaya Johnstone Omukoto Researcher Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development Subsequently Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute Kenya
Carlos Ruiz Researcher Wildlife Conservation Society Kenya
Amini Tengeza Researcher National Museums of Kenya Kenya
Girmaye Dinsa Research Assistant University of East Anglia United Kingdom
Lucy Frazer Research Assistant University of East Anglia United Kingdom
Diego Galafassi Research Assistant Stockholm Resilience Centre Sweden
Lucy Garrett Research Assistant University of East Anglia United Kingdom
Emma Hume Research Assistant University of East Anglia United Kingdom
Charlotte Morgan Research Assistant University of East Anglia United Kingdom
Stephen Woronieki Intern Stockholm Resilience Centre Sweden
Omuhaya Johnstone Omukoto Government Partner Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development Subsequently Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute Kenya