Insights for developing effective decision support tools for environmental sustainability

Gabrielle Wong-Parodi, Katharine J. Mach, Kripa Jagannathan, Kathryn Dana Sjostrom

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Despite the increasing number of decision support tools (DSTs) intended to inform sustainability decision-making, recent evidence suggests they may not be reaching stakeholders who need them most and are of varying content and quality. One way to enhance their use and quality is to evaluate tools during their development and deployment in order to improve DSTs and their relevance and usability within decision-making processes. Here we identify key characteristics of successful DSTs that enhance decision quality through a review of the literature, and then consider some ways that the ecosystem of decision support activities—coastal plan process and planning tool—used to develop Louisiana's Coastal Master Plan embody these characteristics. We conclude with thoughts on the transferability of effective DST ecosystems to other situations in the context of environmental decision-making, and we offer key considerations for DST developers to best support meaningful integration of relevant science into planning and policy realms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-59
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Environmental Sustainability
StatePublished - Feb 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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