Integrating socio-economics with Nexus related policy and management

This project focuses on linking and synthesizing the project’s analysis to ensure its translation to relevant stakeholders, while also delivering econometric and social scientific modelled analysis. The project will connect: a) modelling and analysis between different project partners, and b) the modelling development and analysis from other components of the projects with key stakeholders and institutions. This component will coordinate the dissemination of the project’s results, and maintain all project partners updated. Social science-based modelling will be integrated with the other elements by providing econometric models to assess institutional learning, scale effects and social barriers in response to ‘shocks’. This will highlight whether shocks have had (historical data), are having (live cases), and might have (scenario data) an impact on institutional resilience to crises.

Development of a Theoretical Framework of Resilience:

A conceptual framework of resilience incorporating ecological, engineering, and social viewpoints will be created. Initially this will be based on existing literature and then built on through capturing viewpoints of project partners. The framework will conceptualise the capacity to adapt system features and functions in the face of shocks and stresses. The concept will be tested both in terms of magnitude and dimension of shock, and how nexus systems and associated industries are likely to respond.

Learning Modelling:

The project will model the capacity of governance structures to facilitate increased nexus resilience. This relies specifically on fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative analysis (QCA) to construct a ‘learning diagnostics’ model capable of providing tangible evidence as to the capacity of a governance system to adapt and improve resilience. QCA fuzzy set ‘learning’ analysis will be employed to provide a social science systematic learning model to understand if resilience is improved in response to shock.

Identifying the social barriers impeding the uptake of new practices/technologies generated from nexus supply shocks:

This element will draw on evolutionary economics and use econometric estimation that adapts the measurement of norm transmission. A high magnitude but geographically confined nexus shock will be identified and the resilience response measured in terms of geographic and social distance. The response to the shock will be measured using GIS (e.g. the degree of crop switching, tilling patterns or flood mitigation measures at farm level). In determining the factors affecting the uptake of the new resilience responses, the econometric estimation will control for a range of factors related to the uptake, including social networks (measured via a complementary farm level survey). The shock identified will be informed by other project activities (e.g. focusing on Somerset Levels), but will ultimately be driven by data availability (in terms of measurability and variability). It is hoped that the rapid-response data using dGPS and unmanned aerial vehicles can be utilized for the econometric analysis.

System Mapping:

This task will use social network analysis (SNA) to map governance, and institutional and knowledge systems underpinning the response to the shocks analysed. This will support the development of the QCA-based learning modelling and the project’s outreach capacity (offering analysis of entry point opportunities). This task will provide a bridge to “WEF WEB” (another WEF Nexus sandpit project) where stakeholder mapping will be used for policy engagement, thus offering a chance of greater cohesion and further collaboration between successful sandpit participants.

Connecting the Modelling and Analysis between WPs:

This element of the project will provide a critical integration role linking different strands of natural and social analysis by investigating and promoting touch points between the methods utilised. Entry points and connections (where not frictions) between the methods and outputs of the various WPs will be identified, and governance/institutional structures existing in the case studies considered defined. Analysis will highlight how to best integrate research and evidence into policymaking and practical implementation. This task will analyse methodological compatibility and key evidence ‘anchors’ between the models used to inform a cross-disciplinary assessment of shock response and resilience.

Integration and Dissemination of Project Results:

Key to the success of the project is the integration and dissemination of outputs (academic and policy-oriented) which is the focus of this task conducted during the annual workshops to which non-academic stakeholders will be invited.