CONSENSUS brings together a multidisciplinary partnership between experts from the fields of operational research, decision science, social technologies (gamification, crowdsourcing and social analytics), applied system analysis, and visual analytics. It aims to help policymakers tackle large-scale planning problems within two key European Union policy areas: biofuels and climate change (EU Renewable Energy Directive) and Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-T).
The approach taken by CONSENSUS will be to break these large problem areas down into smaller questions. This will help researchers identify the inherent conflicts that could prevent successful policy outcomes and also the trade-offs needed to resolve them, for example, ensuring that biofuels policies do not undermine the right to food.
IIASA’s GLOBIOM model is used to quantify various biofuel policy scenarios and assess the impact of biofuels on different sustainability pillars (environment, climate change mitigation, food security and economy) and trade-offs.
Policymakers are faced on daily basis with different policy choices and objectives that are subject to inherent conflicts and thus require consideration of trade-offs to achieve policy aims. For example, if a policymaker wishes to construct a road, a number of factors need to be considered, for example, investment costs, socioeconomic returns, environmental aspects, and safety considerations, so that priorities can be balanced accordingly.
Using multicriteria decision analysis methodology, the CONSENSUS project will model existing real-world user cases and deliver comprehensive, easy-to-use tools, to allow policymakers to make optimal choices based on the relevant criteria.
Crowd-sourcing and gamification will be used at various phases of the project, including refining criteria, gathering input, examining resulting visualizations, and assisting in decision making. Citizen involvement in decision making and the transparency of the process will support greater public acceptance of any decisions made.
Last edited: 07 October 2014
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