You are here:
Non-monetary valuation using Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis: Sensitivity of additive aggregation methods to scaling and compensation assumptions
Martin, D. AND M. Mazzotta. Non-monetary valuation using Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis: Sensitivity of additive aggregation methods to scaling and compensation assumptions. Ecosystem Services. Elsevier Online, New York, NY, 29:13-22, (2018).
This article adds to the growing field of ecosystem services research. It is often useful to combine disparate ecosystem service outcomes to estimate an overall worth or value of environmental management actions. Methods for multi-criteria decision analysis provide this service. In our experience, the choice of which method involves technical assumptions that are unknown to decision makers with little knowledge of the methods. In this study, we reveal such assumptions and disclose that results are sensitive to methods used to combine ecosystem services for environmental decision making.
Analytical methods for Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) support the non-monetary valuation of ecosystem services for environmental decision making. Many published case studies transform ecosystem service outcomes into a common metric and aggregate the outcomes to set land use planning and environmental management priorities. Analysts and their stakeholder constituents should be cautioned that results may be sensitive to the methods that are chosen to perform the analysis. In this article, we investigate four common additive aggregation methods: global and local multi-attribute scaling, the analytic hierarchy process, and compromise programming. Using a hypothetical example, we explain scaling and compensation assumptions that distinguish the methods. We perform a case study application of the four methods to re-analyze a data set that was recently published in Ecosystem Services and demonstrate how results are sensitive to the methods.