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Evaluating Environmental Public Participation: Methodological Questions


  • Caron Chess


Increasingly, environmental agencies are engaged in public participation activities. Unfortunately, the limited evaluation of public participation programmes also makes improvement of such programmes more difficult. To encourage further thinking about the evaluation of environmental public participation programmes, this article discusses some of the basic issues raised by evaluators of social programmes (e.g. unemployment and housing, etc.) that have served as methodological proving grounds for evaluation. These issues include why evaluate and what and how to evaluate, as well as questions concerning the role of evaluators. To illustrate ways in which evaluators of environmental public participation programmes have grappled with these issues, examples of different methodological approaches are included. Finally, based on this review, recommendations are made to improve evaluations of environmental public participation programmes, such as increasing evaluation aimed at making mid-course corrections, which includes involving participants in evaluation and assessing a variety of participatory goals.

Suggested Citation

  • Caron Chess, 2000. "Evaluating Environmental Public Participation: Methodological Questions," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(6), pages 769-784.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jenpmg:v:43:y:2000:i:6:p:769-784
    DOI: 10.1080/09640560020001674

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    Cited by:

    1. Jabbar, Amina M. & Abelson, Julia, 2011. "Development of a framework for effective community engagement in Ontario, Canada," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 101(1), pages 59-69, June.
    2. repec:eee:ecolec:v:140:y:2017:i:c:p:79-88 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Dara O'Rourke & Gregg P. Macey, 2003. "Community environmental policing: Assessing new strategies of public participation in environmental regulation," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(3), pages 383-414.
    4. Gloria Lentijo & Mark Hostetler, 2013. "Effects of a participatory bird census project on knowledge, attitudes and behaviors of coffee farmers in Colombia," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 199-223, February.
    5. Silva Larson & Thomas G Measham & Liana J Williams, 2009. "Remotely Engaged? A Framework for Monitoring the Success of Stakeholder Engagement in Remote Regions," Socio-Economics and the Environment in Discussion (SEED) Working Paper Series 2009-11, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems.
    6. repec:eee:forpol:v:89:y:2018:i:c:p:22-30 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Plummer, Ryan & Armitage, Derek, 2007. "A resilience-based framework for evaluating adaptive co-management: Linking ecology, economics and society in a complex world," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 62-74, February.
    8. Maria Cerretta & Lidia Diappi, 2014. "Adaptive Evaluations in Complex Contexts: Introduction," SCIENZE REGIONALI, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2014(1 Suppl.), pages 5-22.

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