Knowledge Platform

Valuation: non-monetary values

Non-monetary techniques can be based on participative approaches. Multiple Criteria Analyses (MCA) commonly use the concept of weights to express the relative importance of different alternatives (e.g. landscape management options, service trade-offs, etc.).

In the CLAIM project, an Analytic Network Process (ANP) was applied to the 9 case study areas covering the relationship between economic actors, public and private services, socio-economic benefits and local competitiveness. The ANP was developed specifically for the assessment of tangible and non-tangible effects in complex systems characterized by loop effects.

General Purpose and Application

Multi-criteria analysis (MCA) is widely used where there is a choice to be made between competing options. It may be used as a tool for the assessment of complex issues where trade-offs between different objectives are unavoidable. For instance, the evaluation of land-use options in a region as a whole considering all the stakeholders and taking into account the relevant ecological and socioeconomic. MCA has a huge variety of applications, but was intensively used in the field of environmental evaluation, in which alternative choices need to be compared based on a variety of factors.

The method was applied in CLAIM at two levels: the ANP on 9 case study areas as a cross-case tool to assess the relevance of different component in landscape valorisation and the Local Stakeholder Laboratory (LSL) at case study level.

Lessons learned

Main strength of non-monetary techniques such as the multi-criteria methods is the possibility to overcome the typical shortcomings of monetary techniques like the possibility to assess non-tangibles values and complex systems that are difficult to tackle with the "strict" neoclassical principles. The ANP experience showed the potential for the use of multi-criteria techniques in order to compare issues across heterogeneous areas, through stakeholders-based implementation. The ANP also explores the issue (and confirm the need) to use methods able to account for loops and interactions among different components of the system (as ANP does), rather than one way hierarchical interactions.

The understanding of the exercise by the stakeholders was surprisingly easy (in spite also of terminological and definitory difficulties) and the consistency surprisingly high across CSAs, revealing the potential for using these methods more widely, as they are often dismissed as too complex.

The exercise also reveals that building the network is a critical issue and that participatory approaches need to be sued already at that stage and not only in the attribution of weights. Also the composition of the stakeholder group is of paramount importance, not only to derive least-biased results, but also for the strength and reliability of the results when they are fed in the policy process.

Reference & Further Reading

Saaty, T.L. (2005). Theory and applications of the analytic network process: Decision making with benefits, opportunities, costs, and risks. Pittsburgh: RWS Publications.