Public and Stakeholder Participation

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Introductory lecture at ISCRAM Summer School 2009 (see www.iscram.org)

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Public and Stakeholder Participation

  1. 1. Public and Stakeholder Participation Simon French simon.french@mbs.ac.uk
  2. 2. Plan • Background – Decision process – Democracy • 20 years of experience • Design of participation processes • Issues and Concerns 2
  3. 3. Background
  4. 4. Generic decision processes Formulate Decide issues and Analysis and structure Implement problem Science – what might happen Values – how much it matters if it does
  5. 5. Democracy … … „ is government of all the people, by all the people, for all the people.‟ Theodore Parker … „is the worst form of government – except for all the others‟ Winston Churchill … „substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few‟ George Bernard Shaw
  6. 6. Types of Democracy • Procedural or representative democracy – people elect representatives to take decisions – a few democracies allow referendums (but referendums are votes not decisions) • Deliberative or direct democracy – Citizens participate in decisions – Athenean ideal • By and large with conventional methods, full deliberative democracy is infeasible
  7. 7. The middle ground Public Participation in Emergency Planning and Recovery Deliberative Public Representative Democracy Participation (Parliamentary) Individuals Individuals interact Democracy participate and participate; Representatives and vote but authorities elected to take in all decisions or parliament decisions (Athenian Ideal) decide.
  8. 8. Arrow’s Theorem No constitution (voting system) satisfies: • Weak ordering (complete, transitive) • Non Triviality • Universal domain • Independence of the irrelevant alternative (IIA) • Pareto Principle • No Dictatorship
  9. 9. Attempts to avoid Arrow’s result • Since 1951 there have been many attempts – to find a flaw in Arrow‟s reasoning – to argue that it is irrelevant to democracy • Essentially all have failed. – In fact, each of the assumptions may be dropped and a version of his Theorem still holds – Moreover, many other similar theorems have been proved. • honesty and manipulability; • agenda rigging; • …
  10. 10. Better to think of groups as social processes • Need to facilitate these process: – foster effective communication between the members; – explore the issues in a creative, effective manner; – reduce unproductive tensions and disagreements; – protect the group from dysfunctional activities such as groupthink; – build a shared understanding; – build a commitment to implement the selected course of action; – record and report their discussions • and support each member‟s own thought processes, judgements and decision making.
  11. 11. Societal Risk Management … … should be more than identifying and dealing with the actual risks: viz: „the SCIENCE‟ It requires:  communication with all stakeholders  a recognition of their  perceptions (their science)  values (social and political ‘intangibles’)  indeed, their involvement
  12. 12. Stakeholder Engagement An evolving decision-framing process within and between stakeholders that is inclusive and participatory, with open and two-way discussions, leading to relationships where issues can be identified, discussed and resolved, resulting in sustainable decisions. (OECD, 2006)
  13. 13. Fischhoff’s stages 1. All we have to do is get 5. All we have to do is the numbers right show them it‟s a good 2. All we have to do is tell deal for them them the numbers 6. All we have to do is 3. All we have to do is treat them nice explain what we mean by the numbers 7. All we have to do is 4. All we have to do is make them partners show them that they‟ve 8. All of these accepted similar risks in the past
  14. 14. Fischhoff’s stages 1. All we have to do is get 5. All we have to do is the numbers right show them it‟s a good 2. All we have to do is tell deal for them them the numbers 6. All we have to do is 3. All we have to do is treat them nice explain what we mean by the numbers 7. All we have to do is 4. All we have to do is make them partners show them that they‟ve 8. All of these accepted similar risks in the past
  15. 15. Science and Values • Science – what might happen – seldom a single science view – subjective, controversy, debate – uncertainty • Values – how much it matters if it does – subjective – often relate to intangibles 15
  16. 16. Players Science Values Experts Stakeholders Forecasts of Accountabilities what might happen and responsibilities Decision Makers Process expertise 16 Analysts
  17. 17. A stakeholder ... ... is someone who is or will be impacted by the decision – or believes that they will be. Stakeholders are not objectively defined: they define themselves. 17
  18. 18. Stakeholder Identification Power/Influence Context-setters Players (loose cannon) Influence Manage interaction Stake Monitor Meet responsibilities to Bystanders Victims/ Beneficiaries
  19. 19. Stakeholders involved in Asthma Drug Scare Stakeholders Power/Influence National Asthma Compaign Sunday Times ICRF Producer Other media Company GP’s Parents Stake Patient groups General Public Asthmatic children
  20. 20. Cultural Theory Individualist/Entrepreneurs: risks present opportunity, save those that threaten freedom of choice and action within free markets Hierarchists: fear threats to social order and believe technological and environmental risks can be managed within set limits. Egalitarians: fear risks to the environment, the collective good and future generations. Fatalists: do not knowingly accept risks but accept what is in store for them.
  21. 21. Further interactions Science Values Experts Stakeholders Forecasts of Accountabilities what might and happen responsibilities Decision Makers Process expertise Analysts 21
  22. 22. Further interactions Values Alternative views Further stakeholders: of Science families, employees, Experts etc. Accountabilities Values Forecasts of what might and responsibilities Science happen Stakeholders: decision makers on Experts their actions Forecasts Accountabilities of what might and responsibilities happen Decision Makers Process expertise Analysts 22
  23. 23. Informed decision making There are two aspects to informed decision making – Communication effectiveness: Does the information provided actually inform the public? – True devolution of responsibility: Are the public trusted and truly given the freedom to make their individual decisions? 23
  24. 24. 20 years of experience
  25. 25. Background Over the past 20 years there has been a growth in stakeholder and public participation in planning and, indeed, delivering recovery actions after an incident. 25
  26. 26. International Chernobyl Project • Held Autumn 1990 • 5 „decision‟ conferences • Wide representation of internal USSR/Republic stakeholders • No public Chernobyl project 1990 2000 now
  27. 27. NKS workshops • Held 1992 & 1995 • Range of local and government officials and regulators from Scandinavian Countries • No public Chernobyl project NKS Workshops 1990 2000 now
  28. 28. Ethos Project • Held between 1996 & 1999 • Full public participation in Olmany, Stolyn, Belarus • Helped design and adoption of recovery actions in village • Clear passing of problem ownership and control to the villagers Chernobyl project NKS Workshops Ethos 1990 2000 now
  29. 29. JFSSG FSA • Late 1990‟s to 2000 • Programme of workshops and planning in the lead up to the establishment of UK Food Standards Agency • Clear link to development of skills in public risk communication • 3 stakeholder workshops with increasing „distance of stakeholders from government‟ Chernobyl project NKS JFSSG FSA Workshops Ethos 1990 2000 now
  30. 30. Farming • 2000 to 2004 involving UK, Finland, Belgium, France and Greece • Successor to a stakeholder engagement process run by UK Agriculture and Food Countermeasures Working Group • Wide range of stakeholders to consider agricultural recovery after an accident Chernobyl project NKS JFSSG FSA Workshops Ethos Farming 1990 2000 now
  31. 31. FSA Risk Communication Workshops • 2000 to 2003 • Research exercise to explore what the public would like the FSA to communicate about food risks. • Public or stakeholder groups designed integrated management and communication strategy for hypothetical issues Chernobyl project NKS JFSSG FSA FSA Risk Workshops Ethos Farming 1990 2000 now
  32. 32. EVATECH • 2001 to 2005 • Improving nuclear emergency management decision support systems and involving stakeholders in the process • 9 recovery workshops involving some stakeholders on scenarios in Denmark, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Poland, Slovak Republic and UK Chernobyl EVATECH project NKS JFSSG FSA FSA Risk Workshops Ethos Farming 1990 2000 now
  33. 33. RELU • 2005 to 2008 • Involving rural stakeholders in managing food chain risks • Simulated process with involvement of stakeholders at various phases: formulation analysis evaluation Chernobyl EVATECH project NKS JFSSG FSA FSA Risk Workshops Ethos Farming RELU 1990 2000 now
  34. 34. EURANOS • 2004 to 2009 • Follow on to ETHOS, EVATECH and FARMING • Development of protocols for public participation in recovery and rehabilitation Chernobyl EVATECH project NKS JFSSG FSA FSA Risk EURANOS Workshops Ethos Farming RELU 1990 2000 now
  35. 35. Other activities • Direct Involvement – TED: ESF Programme to discuss and explore electronic democracy and e- participation – Sundry stakeholder workshops • General – Enormous growth in stakeholder involvement, public participation and deliberative democracy
  36. 36. What have we learnt? • Involving stakeholders and the public – Builds trust and acceptance – Better than „Decide Announce Defend‟ – Is greatly valued by the participants and their peers – Produces sound conclusions and results that seem to compare in their validity with more traditional approaches
  37. 37. Design of Participation Processes
  38. 38. Instruments and Processes • A participation instrument is an interaction – maybe extended – which seeks to achieve some limited set of objectives. • A participation process typically involves several instruments blended together to support and make a societal decision. 38
  39. 39. Participation Instruments Referendums Online Discussion Forums Advertisements Deliberative Polling e-voting Informative Programmes Public Hearings/ Enquiries e-polling Interviews Public Opinion Surveys e-consultation Soap Operas Negotiated Rule Making e-mail/email-lists Celebrities Mediation e-panels News Articles Consensus Conference e-petitions Debates Citizen Jury/ Planning Cells Online Chat Music Citizens Panel Web-pages Advertisements Citizen Advisory Committees (CAC) SMS Messaging Programmes Workshops Geographic Information System Articles Study Circles Digital TV Advertisements Round Tables Simulation Letters Collaborative Watershed Games Press Releases Management Video Broadcasting Postal Letters Focus Groups Information Leaflets Education in Schools Billboards
  40. 40. ‘The’ decision making process as part of direct democracy Formulate Decide issues and Analysis and structure Implement Different participation instruments may be problem appropriate at each stage • Discuss and share • Models, but • Decide/ Vote ideas and issues multiple But • Multiple paradigms • Arrow’s Theorem perceptions • Build So • Sense making understanding • Social process of • Ask questions • Answer questions deliberation, acceptance • Soft OR/PSM and implementation
  41. 41. Processes of participation & deliberative democracy • There is no best instrument • We need to develop a process in which several instruments are blended into a hybrid process – E.g. a mix of web-sites with information and decision analyses, plus stakeholder workshops, plus postal consultation, plus … • Bayley and French (2008) have suggested how this might be done
  42. 42. To design collaboration and participation we need some objectives • If we take a democratic ideal perspective, principles matter most. • If we take the perspective of a regulator, the choice is based upon more pragmatic attributes • Objectives may have different weights at each phase of the process
  43. 43. Levels of Participation Level Formulation Analysis Decision 1 NoPP1 NoPP1 NoPP1 Issues are identified and structured by No public participation in the analysis. Public excluded from decision: authority Undertaken by authority authority decides 2 NoPP2_MediaWeb NoPP2 NoPP2_Comm Issues identified and structured by As NoPP1 but with some public Authority decides but communicates authority. Programme of communication via media and website of reasoning to the public via websites, communication using media and evolving analysis media and public meetings. websites 3 NoPP3_PubMeet NoPP3 PP1 As NoPP2 but public meetings to As NoPP2 but with public meeting Options with pros and cons explain the options communicated to public and opinions polled via surveys and website 4 NoPP4_OpinionPoll PP1 PP2_Meet As NoPP3 but with opinion polling to Analysis open to the public for comment, As PP1 plus Meetings (Citizen get public values e.g. on a web site. panels, juries, etc.) 5 PP1_WebForum PP2_pubParallel PP3_Vote Create website to explore public As PP1 but allow Public to change Options communicated and perception of issues and involve them parameters etc and conduct parallel discussed as in PP2 and a public in formulating problem. analyses vote taken which is legally or morally binding. 6 PP2_StakeholderWkS PP3_Alternative As PP1 with live interactions (focus As PP2 but allow public access to data groups, stakeholder workshops, ...) and some analysis tools so that independent agencies can conduct own analyses 7 PP4_FullPubInvolvemt Run workshops with authority, public and stakeholder involvement. Full partnership in analysis
  44. 44. Analysis with EQUITY 44
  45. 45. Research Questions (1) • What are the objectives of inviting the public to participate in a societal decision? • How should a participation process be structured? • How should we decide upon levels of increasing participation?
  46. 46. Research Questions (2) • What are the relative merits of different participation mechanisms? • Are there interactions between the possible mechanisms? • Should the public be involved in the design of the participation mechanism?
  47. 47. Critique: Issues and Concerns
  48. 48. What have we learnt? • Involving stakeholders and the public – Builds trust and acceptance – Better than „Decide Announce Defend‟ – Is greatly valued by the participants and their peers – Produces sound conclusions and results that seem to compare in their validity with more traditional approaches • But how do we know or demonstrate this? • And is all this true/valid?!?
  49. 49. Evidence for success of stakeholder involvement and public participation • Exit questionnaires with responses such as: – “All felt that having many varied perspectives present … had been useful” – “one of the clearest conclusions is the simple value of holding such a workshop to permit the different players to network and gain better understanding of each other” • Acceptance of the outcomes • More ideas generated in the divergent phase – … in theory, but little empirical evidence • Prescriptive arguments from the perspective of deliberative democracy that participation is a ‘good thing’ • Most persuasive empirical evidence is from the observed benefits of the ETHOS project in Belarus.
  50. 50. Action research • Most of existing research into and applications of stakeholder workshops and public participation has used exploratory action research methodologies and as much triangulation as possible. • But now the processes are mainstream, we need to reflect and build a more empirical basis so that we can design stakeholder involvement and public participation processes to be as effective as possible. • We need to move on from action research to provide an empirical basis for collaboration engineering.
  51. 51. Building an empirical knowledge base • Common reporting framework and an open knowledge base. • Comparative studies • And note that things are not standing still – Web 2.0 and social networking
  52. 52. Comparative design in RELU Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 First stakeholder Risk Assessment: Risk Briefing Second stakeholder interaction : Briefing interaction: defining the estimating the risks (3 months) Assess Docum making recommendations Docum ments ent ent questions delivere sent sent d out out Science Analysis 1 Adjudication driven Plen ary stakeholders only discussion Sess ion Analysis 2 All stakeholders Consensus driven including some discussion Analysis 3 scientists Web discussion of issues. General Web discussion of assessments and problem formulation etc. conclusions
  53. 53. Building an empirical knowledge base • Common reporting framework and an open knowledge base. • Comparative studies – But such studies are expensive in time – Also difficult to get participation unless a live topic • We propose that most real public participation exercises contain one or more extra evaluation activities: e.g. – to record the basis of their design; – to document the strengths and weaknesses discovered in the instruments used; – to compare the effectiveness of different instruments used for the same purposes; – to evaluate the effectiveness of the overall participation process.
  54. 54. Its all a very big problem, but … I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think of them as not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion Thomas Jefferson

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