Preferences, priorities, problem identification and tentative solutions – mapping system knowledge, target knowledge and transformative knowledge

Published: 14 April 2021
Last edited: 14 April 2021

Eliciting perspectives and systems understandings from a larger group of people in a systematic way to better understand the key issues that the process is framed around. Key issues are useful entry points to start entangling system dynamics - What are useful entry points in your case and to whom? This phase also asks the question of what is already known about the system by the stakeholders and what are uncertainties according to the stakeholders?


Co-management building
Collection of baseline and monitoring data and knowledge
Education, training and other capacity development activities
Scale of implementation
Phase of solution
Planning phase
Inception phase

Enabling factors

  • The iterative online survey offers a way to synthesize existing knowledge without actually meeting, online or in person.
  • The Delphi survey design helps bypass challenges in different actor preferences for how to collaborate, the perceived importance given to different issues and the practical circumstances of their involvement (e.g. professionally or privately). These differences may make it difficult (or impossible) to find a format, time, topic and language that suits everyone.

Lessons learned

  • Complementary activities, like open ended interviews or discussions with a reference group not involved in the survey, can help clarify what information you have and what is missing.
  • Finding a unifying and specific vision for a complex landscape is hard. Identifying multiple points of common interest and a broad target like ‘liveable countryside’ can serve as a more realistic starting point for moving forward.

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