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Participatory modeling is a purposeful learning process for action that engages the implicit and explicit knowledge of stakeholders to create formalized and shared representation(s) of reality. In this process, the participants co-formulate the problem and use modeling practices to aid in the description, solution, and decision-making actions of the group. Participatory modeling is often used in environmental and resource management contexts. It can be described as engaging non-scientists in the scientific process. The participants structure the problem, describe the system, and create a shared understanding of how the system works. This can further lead to more quantitative analyses, and may sometimes result in a computer model of the system, which is then jointly used to test policy interventions, and propose one or more solutions. Participatory modeling is often used in natural resources management, such as forests or water.
There are numerous benefits from this type of modeling, including a high degree of ownership and motivation towards change for the people involved in the modeling process. It also helps to develop more acceptable solutions and often creates more consensus among the stakeholders involved.
- Model-driven architecture
- Participatory design
- Participatory GIS
- Public participation GIS
- Problem structuring methods
- Shared vision planning
- SEQUAL framework
- Jones, Natalie A.; Perez, Pascal; Measham, Thomas G.; Kelly, Gail J.; d'Aquino, Patrick; Daniell, Katherine A.; Dray, Anne; Ferrand, Nils (22 October 2009). "Evaluating Participatory Modeling: Developing a Framework for Cross-Case Analysis". Environmental Management. 44 (6): 1180–1195. doi:10.1007/s00267-009-9391-8.
- Mendoza, Guillermo A.; Prabhu, Ravi (November 2006). "Participatory modeling and analysis for sustainable forest management: Overview of soft system dynamics models and applications". Forest Policy and Economics. 9 (2): 179–196. doi:10.1016/j.forpol.2005.06.006.
- Robles-Morua, Agustin; Halvorsen, Kathleen E.; Mayer, Alex S.; Vivoni, Enrique R. (February 2014). "Exploring the application of participatory modeling approaches in the Sonora River Basin, Mexico". Environmental Modelling & Software. 52: 273–282. doi:10.1016/j.envsoft.2013.10.006.
- van Eeten, Michel J. G.; Loucks, Daniel P.; Roe, Emery (December 2002). "Bringing actors together around large-scale water systems: Participatory modeling and other innovations". Knowledge, Technology & Policy. 14 (4): 94–108. doi:10.1007/s12130-002-1017-x.