Whole Decision Network Analysis for Coastal Ecosystems (WD-NACE)

Submitted by Sabrina Lambat | published 8th Aug 2011 | last updated 22nd Nov 2022

Photo: Chunwei Jin http://picasaweb.google.com/chunwei.jin/YOVDcD#

This project was funded under the ESPA (Ecosystems Services for Poverty Alleviation Programme) from 2010 to 2012. As a Programme Framework Grant it explored new and innovative concepts, methodologies and models needed to ensure the successful delivery of ESPA’s objectives (see website). WD-NACE aimed to develop a synthesis tool to understand decision-making in the context of coastal communities.

This project looks at the relationship between governance, power and knowledge structures and how these influence behaviour, actions and decision taking for sustainable social-ecological ecosystems: thus, to paraphrase one of our partners, “how decisions get made”. Linking several social science ‘modelling’ techniques, (e.g. social network mapping and agent-based modelling) it comprehensively maps all relevant social and ecological knowledge flows regarding ecosystems in two substantive areas where there is pressure on coastal ecosystem services.

The ‘whole decision network’ of the title indicated that we will integrate locally-grounded knowledge about global forces with local-generated knowledge about ecosystem and social aspects. This will provide a single database which will help make explicit an understanding of the drivers of resource use patterns which can then be targeted towards creating locally-validated knowledge about poverty reduction.

With local partners, we are looking at two cases in Kenya and in Bangladesh regarding coastal zone resource uses and management.

The project kicked off in late 2010. Key workshops were held in Dhaka and in Mombasa in early 2011.

The overall aim is to help decision takers at ‘policy-making’ levels (both in situ and internationally) to be able to understand better what knowledge resource user decision takers (at the local level) have, and how that knowledge is used to determine action (i.e. how the actions of individual actors influences ecosystem services and poverty alleviation but also how these ‘outputs’ in turn influence individual action). 

See also the WD-NACE End of Project meeting page for slideshow presentations about modelling and screenshots and videos. The project ended September 2012.


Dave Raffaelli (PI);

Samarthia Thankappan and Caz Snell (York);

David Obura, Stephen Oluoch, Innocent Wanyonyi and Brigid Mibei (CORDIO East Africa);

Abu Syed, Golam Maainuddin, Sabakun Nahar, Dwijen Mallick and Atiq Rahman (BCAS);

and Ahmadul Hassan (CEGIS).

Key researchers at SEI

Richard Taylor (Oxford Office, joint PI),

Neela Matin (York),

John Forrester (York, Co-I and project manager),

Sukaina Bharwani and Tahia Devisscher (Oxford, Co-Is).


The ESPA programme is funded by the Department for International Development (DFID), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), as part of the UK’s Living with Environmental Change Programme (LWEC).