Using consensus analysis to assess mental models about water use and management in the Crocodile River catchment, South Africa

Stone-Jovicich, Samantha S., Lynam, Timothy, Leitch, Anne and Jones, Natalie A. (2011) Using consensus analysis to assess mental models about water use and management in the Crocodile River catchment, South Africa. Ecology and Society, 16 1: .

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Author Stone-Jovicich, Samantha S.
Lynam, Timothy
Leitch, Anne
Jones, Natalie A.
Title Using consensus analysis to assess mental models about water use and management in the Crocodile River catchment, South Africa
Journal name Ecology and Society   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1708-3087
Publication date 2011-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 16
Issue 1
Total pages 25
Place of publication Waterloo, ON, Canada
Publisher Resilience Alliance Publications
Language eng
Abstract The content, structure, and distribution of mental models can be elicited and measured using a variety of methods. In this article we explore a method for eliciting mental models within the context of water use and management in South Africa. This method is consensus analysis, a technique developed in cognitive anthropology. We used it to analyze qualitative data from semistructured interviews, pilesorts, and questionnaires to test quantitatively the degree of sharing and diversity of mental models within and across social groups. The consensus analysis method focused on comparing the mental models of two key stakeholder groups in the Crocodile River catchment in South Africa, i.e., conservationists and irrigators, to better understand the level of consensus between these groups. We specifically investigated the level of agreement regarding: (1) major water users of the Crocodile River, (2) causes of the current problems with flows in the river, (3) consequences of the river not flowing, and 4) priorities for future use. We discuss the results and examine the strengths and challenges of consensus analysis for eliciting and measuring mental models. We also evaluated the usefulness of this method in assisting natural resource managers to identify strategies for improving integrated management of water resources.
Keyword Consensus analysis
Mental models
South Africa
Water management
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article number 45.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
 
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