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Tool selection in South African integrated environmental management : comparing cost benefit analysis and simple multi-attribute ranking technique in terms of sustainability-thinking principles

Gale, Warren (2018-03)

Thesis (MPA)--Stellenbosch University, 2018.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY : The goal of this study was to add to the body of knowledge on tool selection for environmental managers in South Africa. To this day, tools in Integrated Environmental Management (IEM) are not being applied appropriately and not informing development decisions in line with the principles set out under this environmental management system. The study was concerned with a particular decision context involving the ranking of a set of project alternatives which render environmental impacts. Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) and Simple Multi-Attribute Ranking Technique (SMART) are seen to be two suitable tools for this decision context, however there has been much debate as to which tool may be more appropriate. In this study, the two tools were compared from a sustainability-thinking perspective which was thought to be appropriate given that the goal of South African IEM is sustainable development. Sustainability-thinking is value-laden and therefore needed to be outlined according to South African IEM as the context in which the two tools would be applied. Sustainability-thinking principles were elicited from the body of IEM policy and legislation using content analysis. These principles could be structured into two groups, ‘Philosophical Principles’ and ‘Procedural Principles’. The principles were then transformed into a framework of objectives, phrased as qualitative questions and were directed at the ‘guidelines’ of each tool in order to evaluate the theoretical and procedural underpinnings. This rendered the analysis purely theoretical. According to the framework of objectives, it was concluded that SMART was the better aligned tool with IEM sustainability-thinking. SMART proved to hold an advantage in its ability to balance technicality and accuracy with simplicity and transparency, as well as reaping the benefits of integrating qualitative information in the model.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Die doel met dié studie was om by te dra tot die kennisgebied van gebruiksmetodes vir omgewingsbestuurders in Suid-Afrika. Tot op datum, word gebruiksmetodes in Geïntegreerde Omgewingsbestuur (IEM) nie tersaaklik toegepas nie en steun ook nie ontwikkelingsbesluite in oorleg met die beginsels wat onder hierdie omgewingsbestuurstelsel uiteengesit word nie. Die studie het te make gehad met ’n spesifieke besluit-konteks waarby die rangorde van ’n stel projekalternatiewe, wat omgewingsimpakte oplewer, betrokke was. Kostevoordeel-analise (CBA) en Eenvoudige Multi-bate Rangordetegniek (SMART) word as twee geskikte gebruiksmetodes vir dié besluit-konteks beskou, maar daar was al heelwat meningsverskil oor watter gebruiksmetodes die toepaslikste sou wees. Hierdie twee gebruiksmetodes is in dié studie uit ’n volhoubaarheidsdenke-perspektief vergelyk, wat as toepaslik beskou is, gegewe dat die doel van Suid-Afrikaanse IEM volhoubare ontwikkeling is. Volhoubaarheidsdenke is waardebelaai en moes derhalwe volgens die Suid-Afrikaanse IEM uiteengesit word aangesien dit die konteks is waarin die twee gebruiksmetodes toegepas sou word. Beginsels rakende volhoubaarheidsdenke is met gebruikmaking van inhoudsanalise uit IEM-beleid en wetgewing ontleen. Dié beginsels kon in twee groepe, ‘Filosofiese Beginsels’ en ‘Prosedure Beginsels,’ gekonstrueer word. Daarna is die beginsels omgesit in ’n raamwerk van doelwitte, bewoord as kwalitatiewe vrae, en aan die ‘riglyne’ van elke gebruiksmetode gerig ten einde die teoretiese en prosessuele onderstutte te evalueer. Dit het die analise pure teorie gemaak. Volgens die raamwerk van doelwitte is tot die slotsom geraak dat SMART die geskikter werksmetode was met IEM-volhoubaarheidsdenke. SMART het bewys ’n voordeel te hê weens sy vermoë om tegniek en akkuraatheid met eenvoud en deursigtigheid te balanseer, sowel as om die voordele te pluk van die integrering van kwalitatiewe inligting in die model.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/103548
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