Conceptual model for GEOBENE

Development of a conceptual model for GEOBENE

At the project meeting in 2007 it was acknowledged that GEOBENE should adopt a shared conceptual model. Based on this the CSIR team proposed the following four recommendations:

  1. The conceptual model should be based on marginal cost-benefit analysis with case studies qualitatively or quantitatively following the benefit chain pathway proposed (Figure 1).
  2. The ‘topology’ of the benefit-effort and the cost-effort curves in the vicinity of the current state are often as useful for policy purposes as actual valuations
  3. All SBA’s and case studies need to ask the question ‘how will globalization of this information lead to greater net benefits?’
  4. All studies should undertake some form of sensitivity analysis to help understand in which variables (or which parts of the world) better observations lead to the greatest improvements of welfare [or in accuracy of information for decision-making, as a proxy]

Figure 1: The benefit chain concept. The key elements are that both benefits and costs need to be considered; it deals in incremental changes rather than total benefits and costs; that a logical causal pathway needs to established, in several steps if necessary; and that much of the analysis is semi-quantitative (‘is the benefit an order of magnitude greater than the cost’) or qualitative (‘what is the shape of the cost-benefit curve’)

This model was presented at the meeting and subsequently prepared for publication with the IIASA team in the Journal of IEEE (Fritz et al. In Review).