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Weighting social preferences in participatory multi-criteria evaluations: a case study on sustainable natural resource management

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  • Eneko Garmendia
  • Gonzalo Gamboa

Abstract

The use of multi-criteria evaluation tools in combination with participatory approaches provides a promising framework for integrating multiple interests and perspectives in the effort to provide sustainability. However, the inclusion of diverse viewpoints requires the \"compression\"Â of complex issues, a process that is controversial. Ensuring the quality of the compression process is a major challenge, especially with regards to retaining the essential elements of the various perspectives. In this article, we suggest a process in which the explicit elicitation of weights (i.e., the prioritisation of criteria) within a participatory multi-criteria evaluation serves as a quality assurance mechanism to check the robustness of sustainability integrated assessment processes from a social perspective. We demonstrate this approach using a case study focused on the sustainable management of the Urdaibai Estuary in the Basque Country (Southern Europe). Drawing on the large body of literature on sophisticated mathematical models that help identify and prioritise criteria, this approach allows (1) an explicit \"social sensitivity\"Â analysis despite the incommensurability of values regarding individual or group priorities, and (2) participants to learn from and reflect upon diverse social preferences without forcing their consensus.

Suggested Citation

  • Eneko Garmendia & Gonzalo Gamboa, 2012. "Weighting social preferences in participatory multi-criteria evaluations: a case study on sustainable natural resource management," Working Papers 2012-06, BC3.
  • Handle: RePEc:bcc:wpaper:2012-06
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Allain, Sandrine & Plumecocq, Gaël & Leenhardt, Delphine, 2017. "How Do Multi-criteria Assessments Address Landscape-level Problems? A Review of Studies and Practices," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 282-295.
    3. repec:eee:touman:v:55:y:2016:i:c:p:1-12 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Stefanos Xenarios & Heracles Polatidis & Matthew McCartney & Attila Nemes, 2015. "Developing a User-Based Decision-Aid Framework for Water Storage Systems in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Case of Blue Nile Basin in Ethiopia," Water Economics and Policy (WEP), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 1(04), pages 1-30, December.
    5. Siciliano, Giuseppina & Urban, Frauke & Kim, Sour & Dara Lonn, Pich, 2015. "Hydropower, social priorities and the rural–urban development divide: The case of large dams in Cambodia," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 273-285.
    6. Kolinjivadi, Vijay & Gamboa, Gonzalo & Adamowski, Jan & Kosoy, Nicolás, 2015. "Capabilities as justice: Analysing the acceptability of payments for ecosystem services (PES) through ‘social multi-criteria evaluation’," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 99-113.
    7. repec:eee:ejores:v:265:y:2018:i:1:p:178-194 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:eee:ecoser:v:27:y:2017:i:pa:p:150-160 is not listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    complex systems; social preferences; participatory multi-criteria evaluation; incommensurability of values; weights;

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