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
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: Suggested Citation