Involving the Public: When are Surveys and Stakeholder Interviews Most Effective?

Review of Policy Research, Vol. 21, No. 4, pp. 581-594, 2004

13 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2007

See all articles by Nicole Darnall

Nicole Darnall

Arizona State University - College of Global Futures; School of Sustainability; Sustainable Purchasing Research Initiative

G. Jason Jolley

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Abstract

Scholars and practitioners alike advocate involving stakeholders in environmental decision-making, although there is uncertainty regarding the effectiveness of public involvement tools and the degree of public involvement in the decision-making process. Some researchers have gone a step further to promote the use of public surveys and stakeholder interviews as preferred means to include public concerns in environmental decision-making. However, there is little evidence about whether these public involvement tools are effective at representing public preferences, especially when there is a shortage of technical information to inform public opinion. This study examines the effectiveness of surveys and stakeholder interviews for assessing the District of Columbia's environmental problems in a comparative risk assessment. The findings suggest that these public involvement tools are less effective when there exists a shortage of technical data. Instead, more deliberative forms of public involvement may generate greater convergence of opinion regarding environmental problems.

Keywords: public involvement, survey, interview, decision-making, comparative risk assessment, environmental planning, environmental policy

JEL Classification: D81, O20, Q28

Suggested Citation

Darnall, Nicole and Jolley, G. Jason, Involving the Public: When are Surveys and Stakeholder Interviews Most Effective?. Review of Policy Research, Vol. 21, No. 4, pp. 581-594, 2004, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1009416

Nicole Darnall (Contact Author)

Arizona State University - College of Global Futures; School of Sustainability ( email )

800 S Cady Mall, PO Box 87402
Tempe, AZ 85287-5402
United States
602.496.0445 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://isearch.asu.edu/profile/1811617

Sustainable Purchasing Research Initiative ( email )

Arizona State University
https://sustainability.asu.edu/spri/
United States

G. Jason Jolley

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ( email )

102 Ridge Road
NC 27514
United States

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