Involving citizens in a complex, technical, multiple -attribute problem: The case of the United States Navy's San Francisco Bay sediment project

Matthew Stephen Anthony Feely, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract

This dissertation research presents and evaluates an intervention, an Integrated Group Support System (IGSS), designed to include a disparate group of citizen stakeholders in a complex, technical, multiple-attribute decision-making problem. The case study is a U.S. Navy administered environmental cleanup project meant to reduce risk to human health and the environment. The IGSS uses a Policy Delphi, a multi-attribute decision model, active facilitation, and the Internet to educate stakeholders and to elicit stakeholder values that government decision-makers can use to select an appropriate remedial technology. The study indicates that the IGSS improves public participation over conventional methods. For a small cost, the IGSS encourages more deliberative participation by providing opportunity for improved learning, by clarifying the expression of stakeholder values, by reducing “status effects,” and so reducing “process losses,” and by improving communication among and between stakeholders and decision-makers. The IGSS's single disadvantage concerns its use of anonymity, and the possibility that the anonymity inherent in this intervention could foster recklessness or irresponsibility in some stakeholders. ^

Subject Area

Political Science, Public Administration|Sociology, Public and Social Welfare|Environmental Sciences|Operations Research

Recommended Citation

Feely, Matthew Stephen Anthony, "Involving citizens in a complex, technical, multiple -attribute problem: The case of the United States Navy's San Francisco Bay sediment project" (2004). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3125814.
https://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI3125814

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