By Gabriele Bammer
How can all the possibilities for understanding and acting on a complex social or environmental problem be elucidated? How can a fuller appreciation of both the problem and the options for tackling it be developed, so that the best approach to dealing with it can be identified? In other words, how can a problem be scoped?
The point of scoping is to illuminate a range of options. It moves those dealing with the complex problem beyond their assumptions and existing knowledge to considering the problem and the possibilities for action more broadly.
Practicalities, however, dictate that everything cannot be included, so that scoping is inevitably followed by boundary setting.