Department Environmental Social Sciences

Environmental Decision Analysis with Games - Edanaga

The environment is a common good. Thus, environmental management affects the citizens: measures are often implemented with public funding, and they can impact citizen’s daily life. So it is for urban water management (UWM). Urban water management options differing from the status quo exist. Those alternative options may imply the installation of different toilets (e.g. with urine source separation) or more local treatment (e.g. in the building itself). For those reasons, decision-making about UWM should be transparent and participatory. Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) is a method that enable making complex decision, characterised by difficult trade-offs. However, most often only a few tens of stakeholders, usually experts, can take part in the process.

The main objective of Edanaga project is to enable laypeople and/ or citizens to take part in the MCDA process. Serious games and gamification are promising: as engaging media, they could spark interest for a priori unattractive topics, maintain attention in tedious tasks, and facilitate learning. To date, few studies have thoroughly tested those hypotheses. During the Edanaga project, we wish to (1) test and improve an online survey prototype that enable citizens to express their preferences about the complex trade-offs, (2) use this prototype to learn about what the Swiss population finds important for the UWM, and which options she would prefer. In addition, we will evaluate existing serious games that would be useful for problem structuring and exploring the whole range of possible options.


Dr. Alice Aubert

ZHAW Life Sciences und Facility Management
Institut für Umwelt und Natürliche Ressourcen


Aubert, A. H.; Scheidegger, A.; Schmid, S. (2023) Gamified online surveys: Assessing experience with self-determination theory, PLoS One, 18(10), e0292096 (20 pp.), doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0292096, Institutional Repository
Aubert, A. H.; Lienert, J.; von Helversen, B. (2023) Gamified environmental multi‐criteria decision analysis: information on objectives and range insensitivity bias, International Transactions in Operational Research, 30(6), 3738-3770, doi:10.1111/itor.13206, Institutional Repository
Aubert, A. H.; Schmid, S.; Beutler, P.; Lienert, J. (2022) Innovative online survey about sustainable wastewater management: what young Swiss citizens know and value, Environmental Science and Policy, 137, 323-335, doi:10.1016/j.envsci.2022.08.018, Institutional Repository
Aubert, A. H.; McConville, J.; Schmid, S.; Lienert, J. (2022) Gamifying and evaluating problem structuring: a card game workshop for generating decision objectives, EURO Journal on Decision Processes, 10, 100021 (13 pp.), doi:10.1016/j.ejdp.2022.100021, Institutional Repository
Haag, F.; Aubert, A. H.; Lienert, J. (2022) ValueDecisions, a web app to support decisions with conflicting objectives, multiple stakeholders, and uncertainty, Environmental Modelling and Software, 150, 105361 (19 pp.), doi:10.1016/j.envsoft.2022.105361, Institutional Repository
Aubert, A. H.; Friedrich, M. N. D. (2021) Gamifying quantitative face-to-face interviews in rural India: an empirical evaluation based on the basic psychological needs theory, PLoS One, 16(1), e0244077 (18 pp.), doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0244077, Institutional Repository
Nardi, F.; Cudennec, C.; Abrate, T.; Allouch, C.; Annis, A.; Assumpção, T.; Aubert, A. H.; Bérod, D.; Braccini, A. M.; Buytaert, W.; Dasgupta, A.; Hannah, D. M.; Mazzoleni, M.; Polo, M. J.; Sæbø, Ø.; Seibert, J.; Tauro, F.; Teichert, F.; Teutonico, R.; Uhlenbrook, S.; Wahrmann Vargas, C.; Grimaldi, S. (2022) Citizens AND HYdrology (CANDHY): conceptualizing a transdisciplinary framework for citizen science addressing hydrological challenges, Hydrological Sciences Journal, 67(16), 2534-2551, doi:10.1080/02626667.2020.1849707, Institutional Repository
Aubert, A. H.; Medema, W.; Wals, A. E. J. (2019) Towards a framework for designing and assessing game-based approaches for sustainable water governance, Water, 11(4), 869 (19 pp.), doi:10.3390/w11040869, Institutional Repository


PD Dr. Judit Lienert Group Leader, Cluster: DA (Decision Analysis) Tel. +41 58 765 5574 Send Mail


Project start: March 2018

Project duration: 4 years

Project type: SNSF Ambizione grant