Designing a participatory process for stakeholder involvement in a societal decision

Clare Bayley, Simon French

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    For many societal decisions, governments and public bodies are beginning to involve stakeholders and the general public to a far greater extent than previously in the decision process. Stakeholder workshops, citizen juries, focus groups, electronic forums, web-polling and many other means of consultation are being used to draw citizens into the process of deciding between different options on the management of their communities. Politicians are drawn to such instruments because greater public involvement seems to achieve greater acceptance of the ultimate decision and, arguably in more objective terms, a better decision. Many academic studies have investigated participation and wider aspects of deliberative democracy and found that the politicians' intuition is borne out in practice. However, while there have been many studies focused on specific instruments of participation, few have compared different ones. Moreover, there seems to be a dearth of advice on how to assemble a set of different instruments into a complete participatory decision making process. This paper offers a decision modelling framework which, firstly, provides a methodology which may be used to design participatory processes and, secondly, raises a number of questions which future comparative studies will need to address. © 2007 Springer Science + Business Media B.V.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)195-210
    Number of pages15
    JournalGroup Decision and Negotiation
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - May 2008


    • Decision processes
    • E-Democracy
    • Multi-attribute value models
    • Participation and deliberative democracy
    • Resource allocation and portfolio decision modelling
    • Societal decision making
    • Stakeholder involvement


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