Adaptive Management

Adaptive Management is a policy framework designed to utilize scientific information in formulating and improving management strategies of complex systems. Adaptive management helps policymakers and managers learn from programs so they can take systematic action to continually improve management policies. This process involves changing assumptions and interventions in order to better respond to new information. Ultimately, adaptive management is learning by doing, and it is proactive in that it does not postpone management actions until complete data or information is gathered; essentially, it is experimentation that affects social arrangements and individual lives.

Adaptive management has been defined in various ways since its development in the late 1960s. Its most effective form—“active” adaptive management—employs management programs designed to experimentally compare selected policies or practices by evaluating alternative ...

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