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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/26535

Title: Comparison of techniques for eliciting views and judgements in decision-making
Authors: Mukherjee, Nibedita
Zabala, Aiora
Huge, Jean
Nyumba, Tobias Ochieng
Esmail, Blal Adem
Sutherland, William J.
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: WILEY
Citation: METHODS IN ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION, 9(1), p. 54-63
Abstract: Decision-making is a complex process that typically includes a series of stages: identifying the issue, considering possible options, making judgements and then making a decision by combining information and values. The current status quo relies heavily on the informational aspect of decision-making with little or no emphasis on the value positions that affect decisions. There is increasing realization of the importance of adopting rigorous methods for each stage such that the information, views and judgements of stakeholders and experts are used in a systematic and repeatable manner. Though there are several methodological textbooks which discuss a plethora of social science techniques, it is hard to judge the suitability of any given technique for a given decision problem. In decision-making, the three critical aspects are what decision is to be made, who makes the decisions and how the decisions are made. The methods covered in this paper focus on how decisions can be made. We compare six techniques: Focus Group Discussion (FGD), Interviews, Q methodology, Multi-criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA), Nominal Group Technique and the Delphi technique specifically in the context of biodiversity conservation. All of these techniques (with the exception of MCDA) help in understanding human values and the underlying perspectives which shape decisions. Based on structured reviews of 423 papers covering all six methods, we compare the conceptual and logistical characteristics of the methods, and map their suitability for the different stages of the decision-making process. While interviews and FGD are well-known, techniques such the Nominal Group technique and Q methodology are relatively under-used. In situations where conflict is high, we recommend using the Q methodology and Delphi technique to elicit judgements. Where conflict is low, and a consensus is needed urgently, the Nominal Group technique may be more suitable. We present a nuanced synthesis of methods aimed at users. The comparison of the different techniques might be useful for project managmeers, academics or practitioners in the planning phases of their projects and help in making better inford methodological choices.
Notes: [Mukherjee, Nibedita; Sutherland, William J.] Univ Cambridge, Dept Zool, Cambridge, England. [Mukherjee, Nibedita] Univ Exeter, Ctr Ecol & Conservat, Coll Life & Environm Sci, Exeter, Devon, England. [Zabala, Aiora] Cambridge Ctr Environm Energy & Nat Resource Gove, Dept Land Econ, Cambridge, England. [Huge, Jean] Univ Ghent, Ctr Sustainable Dev, Ghent, Belgium. [Huge, Jean] Hasselt Univ, Belgium Ctr Environm Sci, Hasselt, Belgium. [Huge, Jean] Univ Libre Bruxelles, Syst Ecol & Resource Management Unit, Brussels, Belgium. [Huge, Jean] Vrije Univ Brussel, Gen Bot & Nat Management, Brussels, Belgium. [Nyumba, Tobias Ochieng] Univ Cambridge, Dept Geog, Cambridge, England. [Esmail, Blal Adem] Univ Trento, Dept Civil Environm & Mech Engn, Trento, Italy.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/26535
DOI: 10.1111/2041-210X.12940
ISI #: 000419821200007
ISSN: 2041-210X
Category: A1
Type: Journal Contribution
Appears in Collections: Research publications

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