Abstract for: SESAMME: An iPad application for participatory systems modelling

The CCRES project is focused on enhancing livelihoods and food security, improving community health and wellbeing, and sustaining coastal ecosystems in two case study areas (El Nido, Philippines and Selayar, Indonesia). A key activity is to understand how communities currently interact with coastal ecosystems and how these interactions, along with external factors, have led to current socio-ecological problems. This work is assisted by an iPad application (SESAMME – Socio-Ecological Systems App for Mental Model Elicitation). SESAMME provides a mechanism for eliciting the mental models of local stakeholders framed around specific problems at specific geographical locations. It uses a ‘drag and drop’ icon approach that provides a graphical and participatory means to mapping out socio-ecological systems. It is used in conjunction with a methodological script that guides participants through this process in a consistent and repeatable manner. Overall, we found the use of an interactive app to elicit mental models to be effective and engaging. This was based on comments received from the CMTs who facilitated the FGDs and the comments from many of the FGD participants. SESAMME has been developed for iPad and is planned to be available via the Apple App Store after further refinement and testing has taken place.