Interactive Cumulative Burden Assessment: Engaging Stakeholders in an Adaptive, Participatory and Transdisciplinary Approach

Rehana Shrestha (Corresponding Author), J. Flacke, J.A. Martinez, M.F.A.M. van Maarseveen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
88 Downloads (Pure)


Cumulative burden assessment (CuBA) has the potential to inform planning and decision-making on health disparities related to multiple environmental burdens. However, scholars have raised concerns about the social complexity to be dealt with while conducting CuBA, suggesting that it should be addressed in an adaptive, participatory and transdisciplinary (APT) approach. APT calls for deliberation among stakeholders by engaging them in a process of social learning and knowledge co-production. We propose an interactive stakeholder-based approach that facilitates a science-based stakeholder dialogue as an interface for combining different knowledge domains and engendering social learning in CuBA processes. Our approach allows participants to interact with each other using a flexible and auditable CuBA model implemented within a shared workspace. In two workshops we explored the usefulness and practicality of the approach. Results show that stakeholders were enabled to deliberate on cumulative burdens collaboratively, to learn about the technical uncertainties and social challenges associated with CuBA, and to co-produce knowledge in a realm of both technical and societal challenges. The paper identifies potential benefits relevant for responding to social complexity in the CuBA and further recommends exploration of how our approach can enable or constraint social learning and knowledge co-production in CuBA processes under various institutional, social and political contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number260
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 2018


  • Environmental health
  • Cumulative burden assessment
  • Knowledge co-production
  • Social learning
  • Stakeholder engagement


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