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Overview Participatory Methods

Participatory planning tools and techniques enable participants to influence and share control over develop-ment initiatives and decisions affecting them. The tools promote knowledge sharing, build commitment to the process and empower the group to develop more effective strategies. Another main goal is to level the play-ing field between different levels of power, various interests and resources and to enable different participants to interact in an equitable and genuinely collaborative basis. Methods can be workshop-based, engaging pow-erful, high-level decision makers, experts and interest group representatives or they can be community-based, involving citizens (often poor and disadvantaged) in dialogue. In the latter case, the objective is to provide these citizens with the opportunity to learn about the technical and political facets of the decision op-tions and to enable them to discuss and evaluate these options and their likely consequences according to their own set of values and preferences.


Comparative Chart for Participatory Methods*

as described on this website

Method

Objectives

Topic1

Participants

Time

 

 

(K)

(M)

(CX)

(CV)

 

Event

Total

1-4

Citizens Jury

A decision that is repre-sentative of average citizens who have been well informed on the issue.

+/-

+/-

+/-

+

12-24 randomly selected citizens. Experts, stakeholders & politicians give input

3 days

4-5 months

4

Consensus Conference

Consensus and a deci-sion an a controversial topic.

+

+/-

+

+

10-30 randomly selected citizens. Others give input

3 weekends

7-8 months

4

Planning Cells

Citizens learn about and choose be-tween mul-tiple options regarding an urgent & im-portant issue. Develop action plan.

+/-

-

m

-

25 average citizens. Experts & stakeholders present positions.

5 days

5 months

4

Scenario building
exercise

Planning and preparedness for uncertain future. Vision building.

-

-

+

+/-

Anyone

2-5 days

6 months

1-3

The Café Seminar

Generating and sharing ideas

+/-

-

-

+/-

Anyone

4 hours- 1 day

1 month

1

1 Legend: Explanation of chart symbols:

Topic

+

-

(K)
Knowledge

A lot of common knowledge exists.

There is little common knowledge.

(M)
Maturity

Most people have already formed opinions an the subject.

The subject is new; people are still forming their opinions.

(CX)
Complexity

Highly complex or technical

Not very complex or technical

(CV)
Controversial

Highly controversial

Not very controversial

Note: +/‑ means that the method can address subjects with either + or -; m = medium

€ : 1 = inexpensive; 2 = moderate; 3 = expensive; 4 = very expensive

 

 


Comparative Chart for other Participatory Methods

such as: 21st Century Town Meeting; Charrette; Deliberative polling; Delphi; Expert Panel; Focus Group ...
>>more



* Taken from the ‘Participatory Methods Toolkit - A practitioner's methodological manual’, edited by Nikki Slocum (United Nations University) for the King Baudouin Foundation and viWTA (The Vlaams Instituut voor Wetenschappelijk en Technologisch Aspectenonderzoek, an independent and autonomous institute, associated with the Flemish Parliament) (http://www.viwta.be/files/30890_ToolkitENGdef.pdf)



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