Abstract for: Resilient by design: a modelling approach to support scenario and policy analysis in the Olifants River Basin, South Africa

In this paper, we report on a concerted modelling effort in the South African water resources sector in which system dynamics provides the paradigmatic framing for both a stakeholder engagement process and for developing an underpinning, integrative simulation model. We describe the design of the parallel modelling approach and examine the progress to date. We highlight the crafting of the engagement sessions to fit the different characteristics and needs of the participating stakeholders and reflect upon outcomes so as to set the project path into the future. In this, we choose to build resilience by a progression from collecting and exploring individual experiences of stakeholders’ problems; to connecting individuals’ experiences to their broader sectors’ problems; and finally to cross-connecting the sectors’ impacts and requirements to one another under different scenarios of change.