A formal viability-based framework for the robust and adaptive management of Coupled Infrastructure Systems within an Institutional and Analysis Development framework
Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework coupled with the socio-ecological system (SES) framework enables researchers and actors to address a wide diversity of situations that has led to several insights about the management of natural resources (Imperial, 1999) (Ostrom, 2011). Such an analysis does not provide a unique and systematic blueprint but highlights the strengths and weaknesses of institutional arrangements in given circumstances. Among the management of the different natural resources, IAD framework was applied to a diversity of applications. In the meantime, policy-makers need complementary operational tools in their decision-making process. These operational tools are mainly based on descriptive issues of the system such as the dynamics of a resource according to time. The need of operational tools is especially of growing concern with the management of coupled infrastructure systems (CIS) based on human-made infrastructure unlike SES, mainly based on natural infrastructure. In CIS, the governance and the «`soft«' human infrastructure more strongly impact the system in the sense that they act as a «`control«' loop: for instance, for irrigation systems, the height of water is controlled for guarantying an acceptable level of water in the field as well as in timber production where the cutting is controlled for both guarantying enough timber for local plants and preserving ecological properties of the forest. These two simple examples lead to more general questions: how do institutional arrangements influence this control loop? How (and when) does the government institution decide the control? Previous works in the literature already answer such questions, but in a conceptual way such as the study of monitoring process or multiple loop learning for instance. The challenge of VIRGO is to build on these concepts for defining operational tools for policy-makers for the viable and robust management of coupled infrastructure systems.
In his paper, Anderies (2015) shows the necessity to connect formal representation of SES and CIS with analytical tools to study nonlinear feedback systems with uncertainty. For this purpose, he proposed a dynamical controlled approach of IAD associated to the robustness framework previously developed in (Anderies et al., 2004). We propose here to add the exogenous drivers to the formal approach of Anderies (2015). We also merge the actions and interactions boxes for the sake of clarity and simplicity. According to this approach, a controlled dynamical framework is nested in the IAD and robustness framework. In this approach, different classes of state variables describe the system and the associated infrastructures. Evaluative criteria depends on these variables and on the time. For example, in the case of irrigation, one farmers' objective is to conserve the quantity of water between a minimum and a maximum values in order to preserve their crop yield. These quantities may evolve in time according to the crop stages: for instance, crops are more sensitive during the first days after seeding. This evaluative criteria may also be an objective function to optimize, such the crop yield. Optimizing an outcome vs assessing a range of acceptable outcomes yielded many debates by scholars. We argue that both approaches may be complementary in many situations.
Main results of Virgo are about the connection between diagnosis and the modeling.Diagnosis is used for defining the variables and the dynamics of exploited ecosystem. It highlights the main functions of the system. Three papers were accepted and other pnes are submitted.
1. Mathias, J.-D., Lade, S. & Galaz, V., (2017). Multi-level policies and adaptive social networks – a conceptual modeling study for maintaining a polycentric governance system. International Journal of the Commons. 11(1), pp.220–247.
The general purpose of this project is to propose operational mathematical tools, based on the viability theory, for the sustainable management of coupled infrastructure systems within the IAD (Institutional and Analysis Development) framework. This project is clearly interdisciplinary (at the frontier between political sciences, applied mathematics and environmental sciences) and relies on on-going collaborations not only with other teams of the institute of the PI (IRSTEA) but also with international teams. Two case studies will be studied in this project: the water management of an irrigation system located in Nepal and the management of an uneven-aged forest located in France. The main outcome of this project is the development of new operational tools (mainly technical guidelines) for helping policy-makers in their decision process. In addition, VIRGO constitutes an opportunity for the PI to consolidate his research activities - that he has developed during his mobility in the Arizona State University (ASU) last year - on the use of the viability theory for designing operational tools for managing coupled infrastructure systems within the IAD framework. The PI exhibits modelling skills (mainly based on complex systems and viability theory acquired during several national and European projects). Beyond the scientific objectives, VIRGO will help: 1) maintain on-going international collaborations; 2) create European collaborations on this subject; 3) federate a team around the PI at the national scale within his institute (IRSTEA). In addition, VIRGO is expected to be a milestone for the PI in order to apply to an ERC grant in the short run which is also one of the objectives of the call JCJC (see page 6 of the call).
Monsieur Jean-Denis MATHIAS (Institut national de recherche en sciences et technologies pour l'environnement et l'agriculture)
The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.
IRSTEA Institut national de recherche en sciences et technologies pour l'environnement et l'agriculture
Help of the ANR 166,966 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: September 2016 - 42 Months