Dr. Mark Reed What is participation

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A summary presentation of Dr. Mark Reeds popular jounral article: Reed MS (2008) Stakeholder participation for environmental management: a literature review. Biological Conservation 141: 2417–2431

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Dr. Mark Reed What is participation

  1. 1. What is participation?Mark Reed<br />
  2. 2. What are stakeholders?<br /><ul><li>Anyone who can affect or be affected by a decision or action</li></ul>(after Freeman, 1984)<br />
  3. 3. What is stakeholder participation?<br /><ul><li>A process where stakeholders (e.g. individuals, groups and organisations) choose to take an active role in making decisions that affect them</li></ul>(After Wandersman 1981; Wilcox 2003; Rowe et al. 2004)<br />
  4. 4. What is community planning?<br /><ul><li>A strategic planning process in which a range of stakeholders participate to plan, provide and promote the future well-being of their area
  5. 5. Rural community planning is simply community planning in rural contexts
  6. 6. Understanding who has a stake in rural planning and working with them is an essential part of any planning process…</li></li></ul><li>Different levels/types of participation in community planning<br />The ladder of participation (Arnstein, 1969)<br />
  7. 7. Different levels/types of participation<br />The wheel of participation (Wilcox, 2003)<br />
  8. 8. Different levels/types of participation<br />Communication flows (Rowe & Frewer, 2000)<br />Facilitators<br />Stakeholders<br />Communication<br />Facilitators<br />Stakeholders<br />Consultation<br />Facilitators<br />Stakeholders<br />Participation<br />
  9. 9. Why engage stakeholders?<br /><ul><li>Participation is increasingly embedded in policy for the normative & pragmatic reasons discussed
  10. 10. A democratic right e.g. Aarhus Convention
  11. 11. Higher quality and more durable decisions</li></li></ul><li>Challenges and disillusionment<br /><ul><li>Empowering marginalised may interact with existing power structures to cause unintended consequences
  12. 12. Group dynamics may create “dysfunctional consensus”
  13. 13. Consultation fatigue as poorly run processes fail to deliver change</li></li></ul><li>Evidence for claims of participation?<br /><ul><li>Few claims have been tested, but there is firm evidence that effective participation can enhance:
  14. 14. Quality of decisions: due to more comprehensive information inputs
  15. 15. Durability of decisions: due to stakeholder buy-in
  16. 16. But, decision quality and durability are highly dependant on the quality of the process leading to them</li></li></ul><li>Tools vs overall process<br />Participation is more than a collection of tools and methods for engaging stakeholders<br />
  17. 17.
  18. 18. 1. Stakeholder participation needs to be underpinned by a philosophy emphasing empowerment, equity, trust and learning<br /><ul><li>Empowering stakeholders:
  19. 19. Ensuring participants have the power to really influence the decision
  20. 20. Ensuring participants have the technical capability to engage effectively with the decision
  21. 21. Overcome power inequality between participants
  22. 22. Facilitating iterative and two-way learning</li></li></ul><li>2. Where relevant, stakeholder participation should be considered as early as possible and throughout the process<br /><ul><li>Involvement typically at implementation and increasing in monitoring
  23. 23. Needs to be from concept development and planning, throughout process</li></li></ul><li>3. Relevant stakeholders need to be represented systematically<br /><ul><li>Stakeholder analysis (later)</li></li></ul><li>4. Clear objectives for the participatory process need to be agreed among stakeholders at the outset<br /><ul><li>“As with any analysis, well-formulated questions are more likely to generate robust answers” (Lynam et al. 2007; online)
  24. 24. May require negotiation and trade-offs
  25. 25. If goals developed through dialogue, ownership and partnership building more likely, and outcomes likely to be more relevant to stakeholder needs & priorities</li></li></ul><li>5. Methods should be selected and tailored to the decision-making context, considering the objectives, type of participants and appropriate level of engagement <br /><ul><li>Set objectives, then decide level of engagement, then select stakeholders, & only then select tools
  26. 26. Adapt methods to changing contexts e.g. literacy
  27. 27. Adapt methods to stage in process e.g. getting engagement versus evaluating outcomes
  28. 28. Need a range of tools so you can adapt</li></li></ul><li>6. Highly skilled facilitation is essential<br /><ul><li>The outcome of any participatory process is far more sensitive to the manner in which it is conducted than the tools that are used
  29. 29. Same tool, different facilitator = different outcome
  30. 30. Skills in managing groups and difficult situations sensitively
  31. 31. Techniques to help (later)</li></li></ul><li>7. Local and scientific knowledges should be integrated <br /><ul><li>Stakeholder processes need to be informed by scientific analysis: the “know-why”
  32. 32. Comparing/integrating with local knowledge (“know-how”) can investigate uncertainties and assumptions and develop a more rigorous understanding
  33. 33. More robust decisions</li></li></ul><li>8. Participation needs to be institutionalised <br /><ul><li>Many limitations in participatory processes have roots in top-down organisational cultures e.g. non-negotiable positions
  34. 34. Decision-makers must commit to resource as-yet unknown outcomes: uncomfortable
  35. 35. Create organisational cultures that facilitate processes where goals are negotiated and outcomes are necessarily uncertain
  36. 36. Risky, but worth it?</li></li></ul><li>Further Reading<br /> Reed MS (2008) Stakeholder participation for environmental management: a literature review. Biological Conservation 141: 2417–2431<br />

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