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NOAA Social Science Initiative

NOAA Social Science Initiative

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NOAA Social Science Initiative

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  1. NOAA Social Science Initiative Rodney Weiher Chief Economist Program Planning and Integration NOAA SAB Washington DC March 16, 2004

  2. Background SAB social science Report: • Concluded: • NOAA's capacity to meet mandates and missions is diminished by under-representation and underutilization of social sciences. • Recommended:  • Improved social science literacy at all levels in NOAA  • Develop research strategies, plans, and programs  • Integrate into management structure (SP, PA&E, PPI)

  3. Background (cont’d) Research Council charged with oversight and recommendations to implement the Report, including: 1. Workshops on uses and benefits of social science for AA/Mission Goal Teams, selected programs, and DOC   2. Concurrently, develop focused pilot projects to demonstrate utility in '04-'05   3. Develop social science component in each Mission Goal for '06   4. Develop 5-year Plans and Strategies

  4. Status • Formed working group of NOAA social scientists • Compiled inventory of NOAA social science projects • Advising on workshops • Workshops scheduled with mission goal teams in March and April • Agendas developed with NOAA and outside presenters • CFO Council approved financing • Background briefing book prepared • FY 06 Program decisions supportive of NOAA-wide initiative

  5. Workshop Objectives • Explaining current and planned efforts to integrate social science into NOAA • Understanding social science uses in NOAA and benefits to NOAA • Understanding existing social science efforts in NOAA • Moving toward establishing program requirements, priorities, activities, plans

  6. Determine the value of programs and demonstrate it to others Decide which programs to support based on documented payoffs Measure program performance in ways that better reflect inputs and costs Make choices among services, uses and distribution Plan investments in physical and human resources Assess interrelated programs and understand what groups of programs add up to Avoid unintended consequences Develop targeted information systems Promote longer term thinking and planning for initiatives with substantial lead times or long payoff periods Benefits of Social Science

  7. Emphasis on Examples Focus on examples of social science use for practical problems facing each mission goal. Tailor to particular mission goal. Particular attention given to each mission goal’s less well-covered and newer areas of activity.

  8. Examples of Uses of Each Social Science • Economics • Estimating demands for services • Determining benefits and costs to individuals and society • Sociology and Anthropology • Understanding changes in communities in response to resource management programs and environmental change • Assessing human impacts of changes in climate and environment • Demography • Understanding population changes that could impact the environment • Geography • Defining boundaries of ecosystems and affected populations • Psychology • Assessing perceptions of NOAA services • Estimating demands for services • Political Science • Analyzing pressures for programs and reactions to programs and regulations • Understanding governance structures

  9. Next Steps • Conduct workshops at successive levels in NOAA and in DOC • Get “ buy-in” for increased use of social science and means of achieving it • Implement pilot and targeted research projects for FY 04’-05’ • Develop 5-year research plan and program to utilize social science in planning and decision-making, with emphasis on FY 06’