Records of engagement and decision making for environmental and socio-ecological challenges

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Research units

  • Appalachian State University
  • United States Geological Survey
  • IASS
  • Arizona State University
  • Scholars Strategy Network
  • Michigan State University


We propose creating and maintaining records of engagement and decision-making (RoED) to help us and our communities better understand ourselves, our goals, our decisions, and the dynamic systems in which we all live. The purpose of RoED is to go well beyond noting that dialogue occurred or a decision was reached. The records should, in ways appropriate to the context and participants, document interactions and note biases, beliefs, emotions, behaviors, norms, and values. These crucial aspects are generally absent in academic papers and formal reports, yet they always play a role in decision-making processes. While not a panacea for addressing critical biophysical and social challenges, we propose that a comprehensive framework for promoting realistic, legitimate and inclusive engagement could enhance trust, establish institutional memory, and when and where appropriate, ensure greater transparency. The aim is to create and maintain RoED to collect significant information and share insights from multi-stakeholder decision-making processes from diverse institutions, contexts, and disciplinary domains. In the long-term RoED could promote more effective adaptive management or governance approaches. This paper describes an exploratory phase intended to catalyze collaborative efforts worldwide.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243–265
JournalEURO Journal on Decision Processes
Issue number3-4
Early online date1 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • Adaptive governance, Adaptive management, Behavioural operational research, Decision-making, Engagement, Knowledge brokers, Socio-ecological systems, Systems intelligence

ID: 39547517