Linking stakeholders and modellers in scenario studies: The use of Fuzzy Cognitive Maps as a communication and learning tool
Within large integrative scenario studies, it is often problematic to fully link narrative storylines and quantitative models. This paper demonstrates the potential use of a highly participatory scenario development framework that involves a mix of qualitative, semi-quantitative and quantitative methods. The assumption is that the use of semi-quantitative methods will structure the participatory output, which provides a solid base for quantification. It should further facilitate the communication between stakeholders and modellers. Fuzzy Cognitive Maps is the main semi-quantitative method and has a central place in the proposed framework. The paper provides a detailed description of its implementation in participatory workshops, also because of a lack of documented testing of its implementation. We tested Fuzzy Cognitive Maps as part of the framework in two training sessions; both gave encouraging results. Results show that the tool provides a structured, semi-quantitative understanding of the system perceptions of a group of participants. Participants perceived the method as easy to understand and easy to use in a short period of time. This supports the hypothesis that Fuzzy Cognitive Maps can be used as part of a scenario development framework and that the new framework can help to bridge the gap between storylines and models.