Systems Analysis to Promote Frames and Mental Models for Sustainable Water Management

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In the water sector, there have been numerous failures in projects aiming at sustainable development and there have been some, but less numerous, examples of successes. However, the most striking observation is the near universal failure to learn from these examples. Somehow, scientists and decision makers have allowed the indications of new approaches and opportunities go undetected because they did not fit with their mindsets or perceptual apparatus. This paper discusses some of the mental frames that have hampered the progress towards sustainable development. It analyzes where these frames come from, who is promoting or defending them, and what can be done to change these frames in ways that are more in line with the basic tenets of sustainable development. It is found that there is a lack of consistency in the interpretation of sustainable development. Most sustainability initiatives have failed because the environment and development were never properly brought together. The “environment” is where we live: and “development” is what we all do in attempting to improve our lot within that abode. The two are unseparable (Our Common Future). Thus, there is a need to draw on diverse disciplinary perspectives and to cut across sectoral boundaries to counter the monovalent approaches that have dominated mainstream enquiry and practice. To that end, systems analysis can help produce enabling frameworks for process changes. These frameworks should define general objectives and means of verification of progress without specifying uniform approaches and activities. Systems analysis is also a methodology helping to make sure that problems posed are adequately defined and that helps detecting biases in goal formulation stemming either from dominant actors or from “solution oriented approaches”.


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Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Vattenteknik
Titel på värdpublikationSciforum Electronic Conference Series
Antal sidor10
StatusPublished - 2013
Peer review utfördJa
EvenemangProceedings of the 3rd World Sustainability Forum - Online
Varaktighet: 2013 nov 12013 nov 30




KonferensProceedings of the 3rd World Sustainability Forum


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