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Consequence Tables

Aim of the resource

The preparation of a consequence table itself offers substantial insulation against the pitfalls of unaided decision making. However, unless the decision problem can be meaningfully simplified to two or three objectives and two or three alternatives, the cognitive and emotional demands on decision-makers and stakeholders can lead to poor outcomes such as environmental impacts that could have been avoided at little cost to development.

Using the resource
Requirements for using the resource:
<li>Implicitly assumes that users can coherently trade between consequences of actions across multiple objectives on a single arbitrary scale.</li>
Potential benefits from using the resource
Simplicity and usability
Internal consistency
Can utilise qualitative or quantitative assessment of consequences with respect to multiple objectives
Relatively easy identification of redundant and dominated options
Potential limitations from using the resource
Does not explicitly consider likelihood of outcomes
Does not provide very sophisticated approach to finding trade-offs
Time or risk preferences not explicitly incorporated
Practical information
UN languages in which the resource is available:
Development stage:
Full, working product
Contact details
IPBES Secretariat

Consequence tables are multi-objective decision-support tools that deal explicitly with trade-offs. There are three core elements to any multi-objective decision problem; alternatives, expected consequences and trade-offs. These elements are compactly reported in a consequence table. The table can be populated with qualitative or quantitative estimates of expected consequence.


Subregions covered