Values Rules Knowledge (VRK) Framework

December 8th, 2020

VRK is a heuristic to help decision makers analyze how the social system shapes their decision context.

Adaptation is often about more than informing choices. Changes to the prevailing systems of values, rules and knowledge can be required to enable new decisions.

Put simply, decisions require:

  • knowledge of options and their implications
  • values to assess the options
  • rules that enable implementation.

The vrk systems that enable current decisions may exclude the values, rules or knowledge required for new choices.

This diagnosis of constraints in decision processes helps develop effective approaches to complex adaptation problems. For example, VKR has been applied to help Mekong communities transform to resilient and sustainable livelihoods.

To find out more, see:


Keys to transformation: Interactions of values, rules and knowledge – Integration and Implementation Insights 

The values-rules-knowledge framework in adaptation decision making: a primer

Gorddard, R., Colloff, M. J., Wise, R. M., Ware, D., & Dunlop, M. (2016). Values, rules and knowledge: Adaptation as change in the decision context. Environmental Science & Policy57, 60-69.doi:10.1016/j.envsci.2015.12.004

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