Understanding Climate Risk

Science, policy and decision-making

The problem-solution framework

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A colleague, Celeste Young has just released a guide for adaptation practitioners: The problem solution framework: process guidance for adaptation practitioners. You can download it here: Problem Solution FINAL

This is a really useful guide that doesn’t worry too much about what climate information people have to deal with, but deals with the question – “Ok, you have decided to adapt, so how do you go about it?”

From the introduction:

The problem solution framework was developed by actively working with researchers and climate change practitioners in Australia over a number of years to assist practitioners in making sense of the information they received and how to apply it in their context. What I observed during this time was that successful practitioners in this field often intuitively used innovation techniques, but did not always recognise innovation or understand how it worked. I found that in some cases practitioners were getting stuck in the problem phase and continuing to use problem framing throughout the process, which could cause barriers to action and engagement.

What needed to be understood was the changeover between the problem and solution phases, and which work practices were best suited for the different parts of the adaptation process. I also found in some cases that practitioners were moving into the solution phase without fully understanding the nature of the problem which could lead to unrealistic expectations and poor outcomes.

The guide focuses on the recognition that dealing with a problem and solution involves very different psychology, so that thinking about solutions while framed within a problem will lead to fewer creative and innovative solutions than will occur if the discussion breaks from problem to solution-based thinking. Topics in the guide include:

  • Understanding adaptation
  • The problem solution process framework
  • Innovation and adaptation
  • Adaptation communication
  • Developing and integrating new knowledge
  • Managing change

I have to declare an interest here because I co-authored a couple of (small) bits, but it’s really good, really.

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