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Deliberative mapping

Involves both experts (around 20) and members of the public (public panel-up to 40 people from varied backgrounds) and combines a variety of approaches to assess how these participants rate different policy options against a set of defined criteria.

The public panels and the experts consider the issue both separately from one another and at a joint workshop. This allows both groups to learn from each other without the experts dominating. The emphasis of the process is not on integrating expert and public voices, but understanding the different perspectives each offer to a policy process. The groups themselves determine which criteria they will use to score the options against, thereby limiting any structural bias, and arrive at a ranking of them. Deliberative Mapping incorporates both quantitative and qualitative methods and participants work both individually and as a group.

Numerous meetings and workshops are required.

This approach to reach a joint decision on a complex issue.

PositivesNegativesWill deliverWill not deliverCase studies
  • The results are considered opinions;
  • Specialists contribute to the process without dominating;
  • Combination of different approaches creates a deep and comprehensible understanding of public priorities.
  • High in cost and time commitment;
  • The results of the process can be contradictory views that leave decision-makers without clear guidance;
  • Very few people have practical experience of running this kind of process;
  • Requires a facilitator.
  • Greater legitimacy for decisions;
  • Information about public preferences towards policy options;
  • Information on the different aspects of an issue and the considerations around them.
  • Consensus/shared vision;
  • Better relationships between groups.

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