Once you have articulated who will help with achieving the decision you seek, you need to analyse both what they need to know, and what you need to know that will help them take or influence the decision. This is the knowledge management process of the assessment. The remainder of the Resource Book will provide you with the tools you need to gather, analyse and process your information.
You will need to consider how to build trust in your final product, including the data, the analysis and the recommendations. As outlined in Module 2, participation by your key decision-makers in the actual process of the assessment ensures saliency and relevancy to your finding (GEA 2005). In other words, it helps to ensure that the findings are relevant to their needs and will be more likely to be used. This could include not only leading scientists who ensure the assessment reflects the latest scientific results, but also others such as indigenous people whose traditional ecological knowledge can broaden the assessment’s perspective or corporations that may have access to more in-depth and privileged information. Generally, the constructive collaboration of a wider set of actors may increase not only the credibility of the IEA but its legitimacy in the eyes of a broader set of social stakeholders.