The 6th Spatial Sociocultural Knowledge Workshop
Event date: 10 June 2013
Event end date: 11 June 2013
Defence Academy of the United Kingdom - Shrivenham
HUMAN GEOGRAPHY FOR DECISION SUPPORT
Keynote Speakers for 2013
Dr Vanessa Lawrence CB, Director General and Chief Executive Ordnance Survey, UK and Co –Chair of the United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geographic Information (UN-GGIM).
We are delighted that Dr Lawrence will be speaking at the inclusive Dinner at STEAM the Museum of the Great Western Railway on the evening of the 10th June.
|Dr Lee Schwartz, The Geographer and Global Issues, US Department of State.|
The 2012 workshop focused on enhancing understanding for disaster relief and stability operations: What do we need to know, how do we get it, how do we organise it? The overall lesson from the workshop was the need to use data, information and knowledge more effectively, in a framework that supports improved decision making. Specifically, the need to:
- Integrate physical and social sciences in a geospatial context in order to improve conceptual understanding of what needs to be influenced and shaped.
- Achieve a more integrated approach across governmental and non-governmental organisations for a common shared picture of coordinated needs assessment.
- Pursue integrated approaches for data collection, integration, visualisation, and sharing.
- Develop, validate and share models and analytical tools for simulation, prediction, and assessment.
- Leverage resources and activities across different groups.
The 2013 workshop will therefore focus on what must be done to improve decision support.
The aim is to gather a wide stakeholder group, including non-Defence departments of state and NGOs, to develop an integrated view on:
- What are the key decisions requiring support, for planning, execution, and evaluation (strategic to operational/regional, national, local) across a range of scenarios?
- What conceptual and predictive models are in use and required for decision support?
- Are the models adequately founded on and supported by geography (especially human geography/socio-cultural).
- Are the models empirically validated, are the limitations on their use understood?
- What are the essential and optional, baseline and dynamic human geography information requirements, and what are the required criteria in terms of density, accuracy, precision, certainty, metadata?
- How much of that information requirement can be met from existing sources, and what are the challenges in terms of accessibility, assurance and integration?
- How can we satisfy the information requirement that cannot already be met?
Why this is necessary:
To reduce complexity and response times, decision makers tend towards ‘programmed’ decisions and the (re)application of established protocols and procedures which have been based on the advice of policy makers. Alternatively, decision makers seek to embrace complexity and be unconstrained by policy and established practices in order to provide a tailored response.
Both approaches are doomed to fail if they are not evidence-driven. Likewise for any attempt to measure effect, especially when such assessments are an afterthought and there is no baseline for comparison. Flawed assessments of effect lead to the erroneous validation of practices that should instead be improved.
We may never achieve a state of perfect information, but we must strive to compile and exploit the most complete and relevant information that is possible at a cost that we can afford (cost in terms of access, risk, time, money, and opportunity cost).
"This international scientific workshop is a sterling example of world-class basic and applied science and technology being brought to bear on some of the most pressing issues concerning disaster and stability operations. I highly recommend it and look forward to my next opportunity to participate." Prof. Claudio Cioffi-Revilla, Director, Center for Social Complexity, George Mason University, Virginia.
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For further information please contact:
Heaviside 12, Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, Shrivenham, Swindon, SN6 8LA.
T: +44 (0)1793 785648
F: +44 (0)1793 785325