DEMO - Participatory Modelling

The DEMO-project explores the theory and practice of how numerical models may facilitate decision-making processes based on local participation

The DEMO-project explores the theory and practice of how numerical models may facilitate decision-making processes based on local participation. Prerequisites for producing and mediating model-based information, with focus on riverine nutrient transport, is acquired by integration of social and natural sciences.

The project is carried out in the Motala Ström basin (15 500 km²), with emphasis on the drainage area of the Kaggebo bay (350 km²) in southeastern Sweden and is closely linked to the present institutional landscape and ongoing participatory processes in the basin.

Interactive process

The project is based on an interactive process, called participatory modelling, which aims to achieve a common acceptance of problem definition and effects of various measures, between groups of stakeholders and experts. Different stakeholders knowledge, requests and needs, are considered through an interactive dialogue between modellers, stakeholders, and policy makers.

Stakeholders are also active in generation of data (i.e. through participatory monitoring), and in validation of model results against local knowledge. Initially, previous experiences of using model as a communication tool in water management in Sweden and internationally are synthesised.

Through this synthesis, and repeated meetings and interviews, a process, which aims to facilitate model-assisted dialogues about environmental problems is designed.

The project includes the improvement of techniques for communication of model results to non-experts. The project does also consider interactions between the regional, local and super-local levels both from a natural and social scientific perspective. Moreover, available models are adapted and new numerical models of nutrient flow to relevant special and temporal scales are developed.

Duration: 2005-2007

Funded by: FORMAS, EU-Leader, Swedish EPA, Valdemarsviks Sparbank

Responsible at SMHI: Lotta Andersson, Berit Arheimer

External partners: LUCSUS Lund Universtty, ITUF Linköping University, Lantbrukarnas länsförbund i Östergötland


- Andersson, L., Jonsson, A., Alkan Olsson, J., and Arheimer, B. (2006) Participatory modelling as a tool for public participation in water resource management. In: Proceedings of the XXIV Nordic Hydrological Conference 2006, Eds: J.C. Refsgaard and A.L. Höjberg, NHP Report No. 49, 226-233.

- Alkan Olsson, J., Andersson, L., 2007. Possibilities and problems with the use of hydrological models as a communication tool in water management. Special Issue WARM / Advances in Global Change Research, Water Resources Management 21, 97-110.

- Jonsson, A., Andersson, L., Alkan Olsson, J. & Arheimer, B. (2007) How participatory can participatory modeling be? A discussion of the degree of influence and stakeholder and expert perspectives in six dimensions of participatory modeling. Water Science and Technology 56:1, 207-214.

- Arheimer, B., Andersson, L., Alkan-Olsson, J. & Jonsson, A. (2007) Using catchment models for establishment of remedy plans according to the WFD. Water Science and Technology 56:1, 21-28.

- Andersson, L., Alkan Olsson, J, Arheimer, B, and Jonsson, A. (2008) Use of participatory scenario modelling as a platform in stakeholder dialogues. Water SA 34 (3) HELP Special Edition, 439-447.

- Alkan-Olsson, J. Andersson, L., Jonsson, A., Arheimer, B. 2009, Lokal åtgärdsplan mot övergödning i Kaggebofjärden med tillrinningsområde. Rapport Länsstyrelsen i Östergötland, 2009:3. ISBN 978-91-7488-231-5.

- Jonsson, A., Lövbrand, E, Andersson, L. 2009. Participatory research in theory and practice: why, how and when? In: Lövbrand, E., Linnér, B-O, Ostwald (Eds.). Climate Science and Policy Research – Conceptual and Methodological Challenges. Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research, Report 09:03. Linköping University, Sweden. ISBN 978-91-7393-579-1, 57 pp.

- Andersson, L., Alkan Olsson, J, Jonsson, A. Wilk, J. 2010. Use of participatory scenario modelling as platforms in stakeholders dialogues. 10th Kovacs Colloquim. Paris July 2010. IAHS Publication 338, 187-192.

- Jonsson, A.C., Andersson, L., Alkan Olsson, J, Jonsson, M.,2011, Defining goals in participatory water management: merging local visions and expert judgements. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 54(6). DOI:10.1080/09640568.2010.541738

- Alkan Olsson, J., Jonsson, A., Andersson, L., and Arheimer, B. 2011, A model supported participatory process: a socio-legal analysis of a bottom up implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive. International J. of Agricultural Sustainability 9(2), 379-389.