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For all EAF Tool fact sheets, the material includes
- User tips
Based on previous experiences using the tool, when is it likely to work well and when is it likely to not work so well.
- Overall difficulty of use
How easy or hard is the tool to use? This provides an overall summary of how difficult it will be to use and apply the tool. The ratings used span from Easy to Very Hard and we have tried to ensure that for each key activity there is at least one Easy tool that can be used.
How expensive in terms of dollars, people and time is the tool to use? (Low – High cost) – which can be assessed either in absolute or relative terms. Some tools can be inexpensive to use, e.g. running a locally based stakeholder meeting. Others may be very expensive, e.g. completing a large scale biological resource survey.
- Capacity required
How complex is the tool and what formal technical capacity/training is needed to use it (Low – High Capacity)? How much technical capacity and experience will participants or potential users require to use the tool effectively? Some tools require a high degree of technical expertise and experience to operate effectively (e.g. simulation modelling); other requires some formal training (e.g. meeting facilitation) while others can be used with minimal training (e.g. attending a meeting).
- Background information
What level of background information or preparatory work must be available and completed to effectively use the tool (Low – High Knowledge)? Some tools, in addition to the capacity needed to use them, also require considerable levels of background data and information before they can be usefully implemented even if the technical capacity is available (e.g. stock assessment models; ecosystem models).
What level of stakeholder participation is required, possible or encouraged by the use of the tool (Low - High Participation)? Is it a tool that encourages/allows for direct stakeholder participation (e.g. a workshop), can it be used with a range of participation levels, or is it a tool that can effectively be used only by ‘experts’ (e.g. quantitative modelling) or does it only work with a highly participative framework (e.g. a questionnaire survey).
- Time range
How long does it take to apply the tool (Short – Long timeframe)? Some tools only require hours/days to implement while others may require a number of months or even years before they generate useful outcomes. The timeframe may also depend on the degree of complexity of the issues and the local capacity available.