Authors: Anna Scolobig¹ JoAnne Linnerooth-Bayer² Michael Thompson²
Stakeholder participation in policymaking processes can potentially improve their effectiveness, decrease opposition, and help legitimize the outcome. The challenge we address is how to account for stakeholder diversity and conflicting values, worldviews and rationalities in the pursuit of a compromise policy position. In meeting this challenge, we present a participatory deliberative process involving the public and experts that demonstrates new advances for (1) co-producing policy options, and (2) reaching compromise in a contested policy terrain. The context is a three-year public participatory process on landslide risk management in Italy, where the co-production of technical policy options required transitioning from a one-way expert-determined knowledge model to a two-way participatory model. Experts formulated policy options interactively with stakeholders based on their discourses and story lines. After several facilitated workshops, the diverse public perspectives were conciliated to reach an agreed compromise policy path. We conclude by contrasting this participatory methodology with other approaches for robust decision making.
Dr. Anna Scolobig is a senior researcher in the Climate Policy group at ETH Zurich- Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. Her work addresses questions related to disaster risk reduction and climate change policy, with a focus on disaster response planning and management and stakeholder processes to design robust adaptation options. She has been conducting extensive empirical research in communities at risk of natural hazards in several European countries. Scolobig has a background in social sciences and was awarded her PhD on integrated vulnerability assessment, from the University of Udine, Italy in 2008. During her PhD she worked as a research assistant at the Mass Emergency Programme ISIG, Italy and at the Helmoltz Centre for Environmental research UFZ, Germany. Afterwards she held positions as lecturer at the University of Trieste and post-doctoral research scholar at the IIASA Risk Policy and Vulnerability Program.