Dr. Marjolijn Haasnoot
Scenarios and Policy Analysis Division, Deltares
Faculty of Technology & Policy and Management, Delft University of Technology

Decisions on adaptation and other investments are taken over time, often in response to changing conditions and events that illuminate current or future problems and opportunities. Exploring staged decision making through adaptation pathways is receiving increased attention both in science and practice. Under deep uncertainty, the exploration of pathways under various changing conditions helps in identifying both actions that should be taken in the short term and long-term options that can be taken if needed. One approach, for which several applications already exist, is Dynamic Adaptive Policy Pathways (DAPP). A key element of DAPP is a vulnerability assessment to assess the conditions under which a policy starts to perform unacceptably (an ‘adaptation tipping point’), which is then used to explore various adaptation pathways (sequences of actions after an adaptation tipping point). Pathway maps enable policy analysts, decision makers, and stakeholders to recognize potential ‘locked-in’ situations and assess the flexibility, robustness, and efficacy of decision alternatives. ‘Signposts’ and ‘triggers’ can then be specified to get early warning signals for the implementation of the next actions in an adaptation pathway. Most of the applications of DAPP have been in deltas, coastal cities, and floodplains, often within the context of climate change adaptation. In this talk, I will describe the DAPP approach, discuss different methods and techniques that have been employed in applications of DAPP, and close with lessons learned and key challenges that require further attention. I will show that even soccer players sometimes apply adaptive policy making.

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