Jack B. Reid


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The EVDT Framework

Spring 2019 to Present

The Environment-Vulnerability-Decisionmaking-Vulnerability (EVDT) Framework is process for developing a decision support system (DSS) for a sustainable development application. This processed is characterized by five basic elements:

  1. The use of systems architecture & stakeholder analysis to identify needs, design the DSS, and understand the context. This requires significant engagement with as many of the stakeholders as is feasible.
  2. Collaborative development of the DSS that continues that stakeholder engagement.
  3. A concept of the sustainable development application as a complex ac{sets}, typically involving the Environment, Human Vulnerability and Societal Impact, Human Behavior and Decision-Making, and Technology Design. This concept undergirds the DSS architecture.
  4. An interactive decision-support system. This can take the form of an in-browser page or a standalone application for a computer or phone.
  5. A consideration towards modularity and re-use of DSS components in future applications.

To elaborate further upon Item 3, an EVDT DSS integrates four models into one tool: the Environment (data including Landsat, Sentinel, VIIRs, Planet Lab’s PlanetScope, etc.; Human Vulnerability and Societal Impact (data including census and survey-based demographic data, NASA’s Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center, etc.); Human Behavior and Decision-Making (data including policy histories, mobility data, and urban nightlight data); and Technology Design for earth observation systems including satellites, airborne platforms and in-situ sensors (data including design parameter vectors for such systems). The data from each of these domains is used by established models in each domain, which are adapted to work in concert to address the needs identified during the stakeholder analysis. These four components, shown below, seek to encapsulate the major interacting aspects of sustainable development and consider them from a socio-environmental-technical system (SETS) perspective. We are far from the first to argue that such integration is necessary, nor to recognize that it is easier said than done.

The motivation for combining so many variables from different disciplines stems from both push and pull factors. The push factors are the simple increase in availability of data, as has already been described, along with the increase in the interoperability of the variables (which this work itself is trying to contribute to). The primary pull factor is our increased understanding of - and appreciation for - the complex relationships between these domains, relationships that were previously ignored in analyses.

Current implementation projects of the EVDT Framework include Vida, Rio de Janeiro Mangroves & Communities, and a number of others by some of my peers in Space Enabled. For more information, you can see the project page, my doctoral work project page, and the following publications: