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Group Decision and Negotiation

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 5–29 | Cite as

A Socio-technical Approach for Group Decision Support in Public Strategic Planning: The Pernambuco PPA Case

  • Carlos A. Bana e Costa
  • João Carlos Lourenço
  • Mónica Duarte Oliveira
  • João C. Bana e Costa
Article

Abstract

This article describes a socio-technical approach to public strategic planning. A multi-methodological framework with decision support systems (DSS) of problem structuring, multi-criteria decision analysis and strategic thinking was used in a decision conferencing process to support the key-players of the Pernambuco State Department of Social Development and Human Rights, in Brazil, to elaborate its 2008–2011 Multi-Annual Plan (PPA). This interactive process took place in June 2007, with thirty technical and political actors meeting in 5 consecutive days to discuss what should be the fundamental objectives/development axes of the PPA and to generate, assess and classify intervention programmes to achieve the objectives. Structuring objectives and programmes started by a group causal mapping session supported by the Decision Explorer DSS. Then, a multi-criteria group value model, created on-the-spot by means of the M-MACBETH DSS, helped the politicians in evaluating the overall benefit of each programme. The doability of the programmes was also appraised with MACBETH and, finally, the programmes were classified into four benefit versus doability categories defined in a \(2\times 2\) strategic graph: “pearls” (programmes with high benefit value and easy to implement), “oysters” (high benefit but difficult to implement), “bread and butter” (easy to implement but of low added value) and “white elephants” (low benefit and difficult to implement). The group agreed that at least all pearls and oysters should be selected. The programmes were prioritised based on their value-for-effort and the robustness of the selection was analysed with the PROBE DSS a posteriori.

Keywords

Strategic planning Decision conferencing Causal mapping Multi-criteria decision analysis Prioritisation MACBETH 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors thank Acácio Carvalho, Alec Morton, Edgard Távora, Ivan Melo, Márcio Galvão and Roldão Joaquim dos Santos for their helpful comments and all the participants of the SEDSDH that took part in the decision conferencing process for their collaboration and enthusiasm. The authors acknowledge the support of UFPE (the Federal University of Pernambuco) and FCT (the Portuguese National Science Foundation).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carlos A. Bana e Costa
    • 1
  • João Carlos Lourenço
    • 1
  • Mónica Duarte Oliveira
    • 1
  • João C. Bana e Costa
    • 2
  1. 1.CEG-IST, Centre for Management Studies of IST, Instituto Superior TécnicoTechnical University of LisbonLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.BANA Consulting, Lda.LisbonPortugal

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