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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, create a computer model of the system, use the model 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. There are two approaches which provide highly different goals for the modeling; continuous modeling and conference modeling.
The focus here is on the end-user being the active modeler. It can be incorporated into an adaptable, context-sensitive, "intelligent" system, which is suited to the individual. This combination is often referred to as "model generated workplace" or "model generated user environment". The basic concept is that the end-user potentially has the greatest domain knowledge and thus the organization as a whole benefits by obtaining and externalize this knowledge.
Conference modeling is an approach where the goal often is of a more social kind, such as motivation, and change management. The idea is to involve a group of diversified people from the domain in question. Then the modeling process is developed in group participation during a fixed period of time.
- 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.