It is important to recognise that people’s behaviour affects the outcomes of natural resources. If you understand the values, incentives and behavioural drivers of people and the institutions they follow this will help NRS agencies to better understand how policy decisions can influence future outcomes. Your challenge is to understand the perspectives of people rather than reinforce stereotypes or biases in the analysis.


Taking a long term perspective will ensure you understand the consequences for natural resources and ecosystems that result from people’s behaviour. As a policy analyst, one of the challenges you will face is to assess what the likely consequences will be of the relevant institutions and behaviours over the short, medium and long term. . To do this successfully it is important to understand change, be open to surprise, and be clear about the degree of uncertainty involved in the analysis. You should also explore both the probabilities and possibilities in longer term outcomes.


The aim is to establish the incentives and behavioural drivers that influence people’s behaviour, which result in natural resource outcomes over the short, medium and long term.

Tier 1: Tasks


  • Analyse the incentives and behavioural drivers that people face over time.
  • Analyse the effect on collective behaviour.
  • Establish present and possible future outcomes, including any uncertainties.

Questions to guide analysis

  • What incentives and behavioural drivers are people facing?
  • What information is available to people?
  • What is the nature of the interaction between people?
  • What collective behaviours affect the issue?
  • What are the present and future outcomes, including any uncertainties?

Tier 2: Reasoning

Look closely at the assumptions and reasons that underlie your analysis to understand them better and test their strength.

Tier 3: Engagement / tools

Engagement opportunities

  • Understand current state, causes and outcomes.
  • Build participants’ understanding and ownership of current state, outcomes and possible consequences over time

Useful tools

  • Scenario analysis.
  • Agent-based modelling.
  • Deliberative behavioural analysis.