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Title: Using participative multi criteria analysis to facilitate recovery from aquatic acidifiation : a case study in South-West Scotland
Author: Bray, Robert
Awarding Body: University of Strathclyde
Current Institution: University of Strathclyde
Date of Award: 2012
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Environmental problems are frequently characterised as being particularly complex, urgent and involving conflicting objectives. Tackling such problems would be greatly facilitated by the development of effective Decision Aids but traditional approaches, developed within the established rational-technical paradigm, are increasingly perceived as limited and exclusive. Integrative methods, combining traditional techniques with participative approaches, offer a way forward to new, more inclusive policy making. One such method is Participative Multi Criteria Analysis (PMCA), involving the use of Multi Criteria Decision Making technique with several stakeholders. This study reports the development of a new PMCA technique: Simple Multi Attribute Rating for Enhanced Stakeholder Take-up' (SMARTEST), developed from an existing method (SMARTER) of Edwards and Barron (1994). SMARTEST involves innovations designed to increase ease-of-use and acceptability to participants which retaini ng robustness, using iterativity to facilitate engagement. The study reports the prototyping of SMARTEST in a case study examining remediation strategy for the River Cree in South-West Scotland, which shows retarded biological recovery following acidification. SMARTEST was used to identify and compare six recovery options against twelve criteria with representatives of six stakeholder groups. Results indicated that SMARTEST was easy to use and encouraged engagement in decision making as the process was instrumental in enabling stakeholders to re-examine their initial positions and to compare them with those of other stakeholders. Using a three dimensional model of participation developed specifically for this study - termed the Breadth-Impact-Depth model - indicated that SMARTEST was able to facilitate greater impact of participation than previous studies. Effectiveness of SMARTEST was contingent, however, on the nature of the interstakeholder relationships and interactions between stakeholders and facilitator. Participative MCA has the potential for opening up new ways to tackle environmental problems and further study is needed to develop and evaluate SMARTEST.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available