Summary of Methods and Case Study Examples from the MEDIATION Project

Submitted by Michael Rastall | published 18th Nov 2013 | last updated 17th Jan 2023

Key Messages

• There is increasing interest in the appraisal of options, as adaptation moves from theory to practice. In response, a number of existing and new decision support tools are being considered, including approaches that address uncertainty.

• The FP7 MEDIATION project has undertaken a detailed review of these tools, and has tested them in a series of case studies. It has assessed their applicability for adaptation and analysed how they consider uncertainty. The findings have been used to provide information and guidance for the MEDIATION Adaptation Platform and are summarised in a set of policy briefing notes.

• The review has covered a range of traditional and new decision support methods. It has considered the existing tools used in policy appraisal, including cost-benefit analysis, cost effectiveness analysis and multi-criteria analysis, as well as new techniques that more fully  address uncertainty, including real options analysis, robust decision making, portfolio analysis, iterative adaptive management / adaptation turning points, and the analytic hierarchy process, as well complementary tools that assist in adaptive capacity and socio-institutional analysis, such as social network analysis.

• The review has analysed the strengths and weakness of these approaches. This provides important insights into the relevance of the tools and their potential use for different types of adaptation problem.

• It has also considered previous applications of the methods to the adaptation context have been reviewed, as well as the findings of the MEDIATION case studies.

• The review work and case studies provide useful information on the types of adaptation problem types where these approaches might be appropriate, as well as data needs, resource requirements and good practice lessons.

• Further guidance is given on each of these techniques in a briefing note, available on the MEDIATION Adaptation Platform. 

Suggested Citation

Watkiss, P. and Hunt, A. (2013). Method Overview: Decision Support Methods for Adaptation, Briefing Note 1. Summary of Methods and Case Study Examples from the MEDIATION Project. 

The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement no. 244012.