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Developing a Facilitated Outcome-based Land Management (FOLM) web application



To develop an outcome-based approach to aid land manager decisions about benefits of agri-environment measures.  


There are increasing calls from policy and management stakeholders in Scotland and internationally to improve our collective understanding of the effectiveness of individual measures at the field scale e.g. a single General Binding Rule (GBR), and of groups of measures in landscapes e.g. at the water body scale, and larger national and international schemes and programmes of measures e.g. Agri-Environment Climate Scheme (AECS). Monitoring and evaluation of these policy measures e.g. AECS or GBR, and wider types of interventions e.g. management actions at a National Nature Reserve is vital to demonstrating they work as planned, and that limited resources are being effectively targeted. Outcome/results based logic modelling has been suggested to help develop targets for nature conservation, and improve the evidence base for effective planning and management.



Phases of work

The phases of work are presented in the figure above. The first phase involved: reviewing logic modelling and adaptive management literatures, interviewing regional and national level stakeholders on their needs, and initial reviewing and testing of software options. 

The second phase involved a stakeholder workshop and report on understanding requirements for a web-based application to aid land management, publication of an open-acess research paper, and a specification for the web-based application. 


Contact details and funding

For more information about this ongoing research contact Kit Macleod ( This project is funded by the Scottish Government RESAS Strategic Research Programme 2016-21.

Outputs from this research and key points


D1 Macleod (2016) How can logic modelling improve the planning, monitoring and evaluation of policy measures and wider interventions for multiple benefits?

Provided an overview of uses and potential benefits of logic modelling, including outcome/results based approach.

D2 Macleod and Hewitt (2017a) Summary of research on developing a more integrated approach to land and water management using incentives and regulations for the delivery of multiple benefits: exploring national and regional level stakeholder views and needs.

Stakeholder views on integrated approach to land use and catchment management using incentives and regulations for multiple benefits.
Stakeholder awareness and understanding of logic modelling and outcome-based approaches, and requirements for an approach.
Initial development of a web application to support an outcome-based approach.

D3 Macleod and Hewitt (2017b) Workshop summary: developing an outcome-based approach for understanding the effectiveness of interventions in catchments for multiple benefits.

Understanding perspectives on people’s needs.
Developing principles to guide development and use of application.
Demonstration and discussion of software options and requirements.

D4 Hewitt and Macleod (2017) What do users really need? Participatory development of decision support tools for environmental management based on outcomes.

What are stakeholders’ views on key non-functional requirements i.e. properties of environmental decision support systems (EDSS).
Review of software options for producing EDSS.

D5 Macleod and Hewitt (2018). Developing an outcome-based web application: principles and requirements specification. 

Key points from phase two of our research, setting out the principles supporting our approach, and how we refined our software application requirements. 

D6 Macleod and Hewitt (2018). Technical report: progress with developing an outcome-based web application.

We present: a summary of previous development activities; an overview of developing mobile web and native mobile applications, including general points to be aware of when developing mobile web applications; and examples of development options related to how we implement draft user stories in our web application.

D7 Macleod and Hewitt (2018). Technical report: overview of web mapping technologies and vector tile data for an outcome-based web application.

Overview of six main web mapping libraries structured by: links to resources; background and status; what is needed to add a map on a webpage; how to access draw functionality e.g. select where to place a riparian buffer strip; does it support vector tiles; how to add GeoJSON data; can it be used off-line; and what additional functionality is available. Feedback from stakeholders is also included.


Project Information
Project Type: 
Active Project
SEFARI – Scottish Environment, Food and Agriculture Research InstitutesSEFARI is the collective of six Scottish world-leading Research Institutes working across the spectrum of environment, land, food, agriculture and communities – all topics which affect how we live our lives, in Scotland and beyond.


Areas of Interest

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The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.