Assessing Spatial Data Infrastructure Policy Strategies Using the Multi-Actor Multi-Criteria Analysis

Tessa Geudens, Cathy Macharis, Frank Plastria, Joep Crompvoets


Assessments of Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) strategies are rather scarce. When evaluations do occur, they usually cover only one aspect of a certain initiative or infrastructure, without taking into account all the other impacts it might have. Moreover, similar methods, such as the Cost-Benefit Analysis, are used in most situations. However, these techniques are only suited for very specific objectives as they require exclusively monetary information and they do not include the objectives or perceptions of the many relevant stakeholders of the SDI environment.

This is why a new methodology for assessing SDI strategies is presented in this paper, namely the Multi-Actor Multi-Criteria Analysis (MAMCA). This technique is an extension of the original Multi-Criteria Analysis (MCA) and allows for structured and extensive stakeholder participation during the entire evaluation procedure. The methodology provides a new assessment framework that takes into account all the different criteria and actors of the complex SDI decision making context. In order to illustrate the opportunities and strengths of the MAMCA in the SDI context, a case study will be presented, where possible policy strategies for the SDI in Flanders will be assessed. In this paper, which forms the first section of a two-parted article, the methodology of the MAMCA method and its possible merits for the assessment of an SDI are illustrated, together with the first three steps of the case study. The second paper, which will be published at a later date, will document the four following MAMCA steps of the case study as well as its global results and possible future recommendations.


Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI), evaluation framework, decision-making, Multi-Criteria Analysis (MCA), Multi-Actor Multi-Criteria Analysis (MAMCA)

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