Decision Support Tools (DSTs) in today’s digital world
How to create a fit-for purpose and appropriately funded Climate Change and Biodiversity knowledge synthesis system in today’s digital world is the big question facing the IPBES and IPCC as well as many decision-makers around the world.
My idea would be to design a DST that help with knowledge synthesis first and then helps decision-makers to speed up the process for passing from evidence-informed decisions to action.
The idea I have in mind is called MINGA, from the indigenous language Quichua, meaning “communal work” in the Andes. The idea would be to gather the latest evidence from the bottom-up using crowdsourcing and donations. Currently, there is enough information available online that is open-access and free, and I believe there is enough people willing to share their knowledge for the public good as well. That is the case of Creative Commons, Research gate and many other platforms where authors give away their rights for non-commercial uses. Whether we look for peer-review papers, books, grey literature or other knowledge products from various organisations, I believe we can access a good sample of data to digest using new digital technologies.
Once the information would be gathered, we could use artificial intelligence, big data management or data analytics tools depending on the size of the knowledge database. Using such tools we could obtain comprehensive knowledge synthesis, identify knowledge gaps and tendencies in a record time.
For the user of such knowledge products, I imagine it to be as friendly as google is today. A layout where you could ask a question and receive an answer, digested by the algorithms used and all informed by evidence. The tool would be as legitimate and recognised as a Vademecum in medicine, so decision-makers could trust it and look for specific solutions to a problem.
The difference with other searching tools would be with the capacity to feed the database though crowdsourcing in an iterative manner so the knowledge synthesis obtained would be regularly up-dated, inclusive and comprehensive in a record time.