The LUCID Model and Its Role in Supporting Land Use Planning Processes in Southern Ethiopia
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Decision support systems (DSS) are interactive, computer-based tools that are used in a variety of disciplines. They are intended to enable decision-makers to better use information and improve both the process of decision-making as well as the effectiveness of their decisions (Forney et al. 2013). A key aspect of a DSS is that it allows a user to manipulate model parameters and examine their impact on the outcomes of the model in the form of a “what if?” analyses (Power 2005). However, besides using models in decision support as a quantitative prediction tool, such models can aid the understanding of complex situations where the outcome of certain decisions or management strategies is largely unknown. Particularly when we want to target groups that are not familiar with computer modelling, the use of simple, stylized models provides an adequate tool to increase the understanding of complex questions. Such models can effectively raise the awareness for certain outcomes of decisions that might be unexpected or that have not been considered so far.