Preference assessment is a direct and quantitative consultative method for analyzing perceptions, knowledge and associated values of ecosystem service demand or use (or even social motivations for maintaining the service) without using economic metrics. It can also be used to understand which ecosystem services are perceived as the most vulnerable, or which make the greatest contribution to human wellbeing. Data is collected through surveys using a consultative approach.
Assessment and evaluation
Tools in this family synthesise and assess knowledge relative to status, function, and drivers of nature, nature’s contributions to people, human well-being, and the connections between these. These include scenarios, management effectiveness evaluations, quantitative modelling, cost–benefit analysis, and trade-off analysis.
Cost-effectiveness analysis is a variant of cost-benefit analysis that accommodates the non-monetary comparison of options.
When filling in a consequence table, if all expected consequences can be assigned a monetary value, then cost benefit analysis may be applicable. Cost benefit analysis proceeds by drawing up a comprehensive list of the differences between the (estimated) state of the world with the policy or project under consideration, and the (estimated) state of the world without that policy or project. All the different impacts are valued using economic valuation techniques, and added together to give a net appreciation of the impact of the policy or project.
Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) is a general term for methods developed to support complex decision-making situations with multiple and often conflicting objectives that stakeholders groups and decision-makers value differently. In environmental management, MCDA methods are increasingly used to structure participatory integrated assessment and valuation processes which combine information about decision alternatives and their consequences with information about stakeholder and/or decision-maker values and preferences.
Benefits transfer, or more generally value transfer refers to applying quantitative estimates of ecosystem service values from existing studies to another context. You take value estimates from a study site and apply them with adjustments to a policy site where time or resource constraints preclude the possibility of doing a primary valuation study. In the value transfer literature values have generally been understood to be monetary estimates of benefits or costs. Value transfer is not one specific method, but a continuum of approaches depending on the information available.
The TEEBAgriFood valuation framework is a frame of analysis that can enable us to answer the question "what should we value, and why?" The framework ensures that nothing important is missed and that the full range of impacts and dependencies (including externalities) from eco-agri-food systems can be individually examined and collectively evaluated for the application in question, be it a typology comparison, a policy evaluation, a business question or an accounting question.
Stated preference valuation is a family of techniques which use individual respondents' statements about their preferences to estimate change in utility associated with a proposed increase in quality or quantity of an ecosystem service or bundle of services. Respondents are presented with one or more hypothetical policy or project scenarios that lead to a specified environmental change compared to a baseline situation.
The OECD Better Life Index allows to compare well-being across countries, based on 11 topics the OECD has identified as essential, in the areas of material living conditions and quality of life. These areas are: housing, income, jobs, community, education, environment, civic engagement, health, life satisfaction, safety and work-life balance.
LANDPREF is a novel tool to assess desired land use visions. It enables the adjustment of a virtual landscape according to personal preferences of competing land uses, and is an interactive tool for the survey-based assessment of land use preferences.
The Human Development Report Office of UNDP calculates the annual Human Development Index (HDI) and uses it to rank countries into four tiers of human development. HDI is a summary measure of achievements in three key dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, access to knowledge and a decent standard of living. The HDI is the geometric mean of normalized indices for each of the three dimensions.