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Can sense-making tools inform adaptation policy? A practitioner’s perspective

Kyla M. G. Milne, Nova Scotia Environment


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As governments struggle to find solutions to complex problems like climate change, policy makers look for tools that can capture complexity and elicit insight. I explored the application of one such tool, known as “SenseMaker,” in helping Canadian policy makers understand the factors that enable or hinder climate change adaptation in Canada. I have reflected on the usefulness of SenseMaker and of a multiperspective, multimethod approach to investigating perceptions and experiences of adaptation. The challenges and advantages of applying this analysis in government were explored, and data findings assessed for their impact on policy. Findings showed that although the approach has promise, further work and testing are needed before sense-making approaches support adaptation policy.

Key words

climate adaptation; complexity; SenseMaker; sense making; social psychology; wicked problems

Copyright © 2015 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087