Limpopo Transborder Programme
DSS and systemic management PDF Print E-mail

In the context of programme implementation a Decision Support System (DSS) is being developed as a planning / management tool to ensure that systemic management is achieved and that all relevant information and knowledge is taken in account and incorporated in the decision making process of partner institutions and planners involved in transboundary natural resource management.


Focusing on ecosystem structure and services, as well as their interaction with the socio-economic system, entails a holistic analysis of the four dimensions of sustainable development: economy, society and its environment and institutions. Their integration into a unique systemic framework is being tackled by the programme through the introduction of a DSS framework capable of providing systemic integration of the different areas and issues with which the programme is dealing.


The introduction of the DSS is characterized by:

(a) a focus on ecosystem structure, state and services, as well as on its interaction with the socio-economic system based on quantitative data;

(b) examining trade-offs between different development objectives;

(c) targeting, defining and implementing adaptive management approaches.


The phasing of DSS development will be as follows:


The DSS focuses on the LTP area while a more specific national tier is being developed to specifically address the needs of the South Africa partner Working for Water (WfW).

Matrices describing the functioning of the systems have been developed for:

  • socioeconomic framework

  • institutional framework

  • rangeland

  • crops

  • livestock

  • wildlife

  • water

  • fire

  • natural resources

These matrices has been integrated in a comprehensive system diagram reflecting the complexity of existing interactions and linkages among sectors within the program area of intervention.


Example of a system diagram in the DSS application:


Indicators describing status and trends of the components identified in the DSS framework are linked to quantitative data ensuring managers and decision makers have access to required information in an integrated and systemic fashion.