Assessing public participation techniques for comfort, convenience, satisfaction, and deliberation

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Public participatory techniques have been the focus of a large and growing body of environmental literature. There is some consensus among those who study these techniques that there is a need to develop and implement new techniques that meet certain criteria. These include that the techniques be comfortable, convenient, and satisfying to participants. Authors have also frequently called for the use of deliberative techniques, which allow participants to express and listen to a variety of perspectives regarding the issue at hand. However, the literature on public participation lacks a set of widely applicable evaluation methods to determine whether participants in techniques find them comfortable, convenient, satisfying, or deliberative. This paper reports on the implementation of two different techniques that participants scored fairly high on all of these factors, as well as the scale-based survey questions developed to measure these factors.

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Environmental Management