Date: 17 Sep 2013

How to design and realize participation of stakeholders in MCDA processes? A framework for selecting an appropriate approach

Abstract

MCDA is increasingly used to support participatory and collaborative processes. In this paper, we describe and evaluate four real-life environmental planning projects where MCDA was used in different ways to evaluate the alternatives and to support stakeholder involvement. Based on our experience, we present five approaches for eliciting preferences or criteria weights of stakeholders, which vary from an expert-driven to a personal interview approach. We compare the pros and cons of these approaches, and give recommendations regarding their use. We believe that better awareness of different approaches and their applicability would enable MCDA experts to design more effective, meaningful and practical participatory processes. Our cases are from environmental planning, but the framework and conclusions are generic and thus applicable to other fields as well.