Paper and pebbles simulations and modelling for the governance of socio-environmental systems: a review of 8 years of experimenting with the Wat-AGame toolkit

Abrami Géraldine, Ferrand Nils, Ducrot Raphaèle, Morardet Sylvie, Hassenforder Emeline, Garin Patrice, Bonte Bruno, Robin Patrice, Aquae-Gaudi Wanda. 2016. Paper and pebbles simulations and modelling for the governance of socio-environmental systems: a review of 8 years of experimenting with the Wat-AGame toolkit. In : Proceedings of the 8th International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software. Sauvage, S. (ed.), Sánchez-Pérez, J.M. (ed.), Rizzoli, A.E. (ed.). Toulouse : Université de Toulouse, Résumé, p. 851., 5 vol (1335 p.) ISBN 978-88-9035-745-9 International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Sofware (iEMSs 2016). 8, Toulouse, France, 10 July 2016/14 July 2016.

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Abstract : Wat-A-Game (WAG) is an open toolkit and a method based on simple bricks for designing and using participatory simulations (i.e. role playing games) for water management, policy design and education. It is included in a more extensive package of integrated methods and tools, called CoOPLAaGE, targeting the main needs and steps in the multilevel decision and management process. The main principle of WAG is to use pebbles to show explicitly how water (and other resources) flows, and are transformed and used, and different paper elements and cards to represent space, activities and rules (Abrami et al, 2012; Ferrand et al, 2009). WAG can be used everywhere and with everybody and specific “design by playing” methods allow groups of individuals to design models of their own system within simulation exercises. With more than 30 models covering about 15 different countries and a wide range of natural resources, management situations, issues, scale and climatic context, we now have a proof of concept for the use of the WAG platform to represent and simulate various socio-environmental systems and foster discussions on governance and team activity in groups of actors. In this presentation, we will focus on the corpus of models and modelling experiences achieved with WAG over the last eight years. We will present a classification of these experience based on scales, resources, issues and context of use. We will assess the genericity of the elements and methods of the kit, present specification elements and singularities, and as well what is difficult to model with WAG. We will also discuss group dynamics and how the different phases of the modelling process are handled, particularly difficult phases such as calibration. We will conclude with ongoing and future developments of the platform.

Classification Agris : U30 - Research methods
P01 - Nature conservation and land resources
P10 - Water resources and management
U10 - Mathematical and statistical methods

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Abrami Géraldine, IRSTEA (FRA)
  • Ferrand Nils, IRSTEA (FRA)
  • Ducrot Raphaèle, CIRAD-ES-UMR G-EAU (MOZ)
  • Morardet Sylvie, IRSTEA (FRA)
  • Hassenforder Emeline, IRSTEA (FRA) ORCID: 0000-0003-3873-8871
  • Garin Patrice, IRSTEA (FRA)
  • Bonte Bruno, IRSTEA (FRA)
  • Robin Patrice
  • Aquae-Gaudi Wanda, IRSTEA (FRA)

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