The FEWSION for Community Resilience (F4R) Process: Building Local Technical and Social Capacity for Critical Supply Chain Resilience

Sean M. Ryan, Elisabeth Roberts, Emma Hibbett, Nena Bloom, Carol Haden, Richard R. Rushforth, Kyle Pfeiffer, Benjamin L. Ruddell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Local business leaders, policy makers, elected officials, city planners, emergency managers, and private citizens are responsible for, and deeply affected by, the performance of critical supply chains and related infrastructures. At the center of critical supply chains is the food-energy-water nexus (FEW); a nexus that is key to a community’s wellbeing, resilience, and sustainability. In the 21st century, managing a local FEW nexus requires accurate data describing the function and structure of a community’s supply chains. However, data is not enough; we need data-informed conversation and technical and social capacity building among local stakeholders to utilize the data effectively. There are some resources available at the mesoscale and for food, energy, or water, but many communities lack the data and tools needed to understand connections and bridge the gaps between these scales and systems. As a result, we currently lack the capacity to manage these systems in small and medium sized communities where the vast majority of people, decisions, and problems reside. This study develops and validates a participatory citizen science process for FEW nexus capacity building and data-driven problem solving in small communities at the grassroots level. The FEWSION for Community Resilience (F4R) process applies a Public Participation in Scientific Research (PPSR) framework to map supply chain data for a community’s FEW nexus, to identify the social network that manages the nexus, and then to generate a data-informed conversation among stakeholders. F4R was piloted and co-developed with participants over a 2-year study, using a design-based research process to make evidence-based adjustments as needed. Results show that the F4R model was successful at improving volunteers’ awareness about nexus and supply chain issues, at creating a network of connections and communication with stakeholders across state, regional, and local organizations, and in facilitating data-informed discussion about improvements to the system. In this paper we describe the design and implementation of F4R and discuss four recommendations for the successful application of the F4R model in other communities: 1) embed opportunities for co-created PPSR, 2) build social capital, 3) integrate active learning strategies with user-friendly digital tools, and 4) adopt existing materials and structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number601220
JournalFrontiers in Environmental Science
Volume9
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 26 2021

Keywords

  • citizen science
  • food energy water nexus
  • public participation in scientific research
  • resilience
  • supply chains

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)

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