Prioritize, select and define Policy Issue(s)

What is the Policy Issue for this problem/conflict? A policy is a statement of intent, which can be implemented by a governance body as a procedure or protocol. Therefore the conflict or problem needs to be defined in a manner that can be dealt with at the governance level.

Key actions

  • Conduct a DPSIR (Driver-Pressure-State-Impact-Response) which helps to gain a common understanding with stakeholders and decision-makers on the cause-effect chain relevant to the Issue. This helps to identify the Policy Issue. See example of multiple DPSIR in the Learn more box. 
  • Conduct a CATWOE (Customers-Actors-Transformational process-Worldview-Owners-Environmental constraints), which helps identify how society is involved in the issue.
  • List the Policy Issues and prioritize.
  • Define the selected Policy Issue.

Learn more

Use the e-learning material and the DPSIR and CATWOE tools to help you gain an understanding of the issue and who should be involved. Find the material and tools in the Learn more box on this page.



Learn more

E-learning material


Additional literature

  • Camilleri S, Pérez-Hurtado de Mendoza A, Gabbianelli G. (2015). Multiple DPSI frameworks for support of integrated research: a case study of the Bahía de Cádiz Nature Park (Spain). J Coast Conserv 19:677–691.

  • Elliott M, Burdon D, Atkins JP, et al. (2017). “And DPSIR begat DAPSI(W)R(M)!” - A unifying framework for marine environmental management. Mar Pollut Bull 118:27–40.
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