An article in last week’s New Scientist reports that conservation policies are driving villagers to kill protected wildlife—including elephants and tigers.
Government conservation policies restrict use of ancestral lands which causes resentment among villagers. In some cases this resentment manifests itself in the illegal killing of the very animals that the policies are designed to protect.
The problem is that the policies are created without the involvement of the villagers. Stakeholders, such as the villagers, are not “background data”. They are active participants—and they will react to changes in a situation.
Any solution to a problem that involves multiple stakeholders (…pretty much any problem…) must consider reactions…reactions to reactions…and so on….as an integral part of the analysis. Tools such as game theory and confrontation analysis are designed to explicitly address these reactions and, as such, are essential to any serious attempt at decision modeling.