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RESEARCH ARTICLE: Three Tools for Evaluating Participation: Focus Groups, Q Method, and Surveys

  • Stentor Danielson (a1), Seth P. Tuler (a2), Susan L. Santos (a3), Thomas Webler (a2) and Caron Chess (a4)...

To enable successful public participation in environmental decision making, practitioners need to know what works, but evaluation of proposed and existing processes is often lacking. We tested three tools for evaluation—focus groups, Q method, and surveys—at two contaminated sites with extensive public participation. Each tool is evaluated based on its requirements for implementation, the information it produces, and its acceptability to stakeholders. Which tool is most appropriate depends heavily on the available resources, what is happening at the site, and the evaluator's goals.

Environmental Practice 14:101–109 (2012)

Corresponding author
Stentor Danielson, Department of Geography, Geology, and the Environment, 1 Morrow Way, Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, PA 16057; (phone) 724-738-2564; (fax) 724-738-4217; (e-mail)
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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

S. Charnley , and B. Engelbert . 2005. Evaluating Public Participation in Environmental Decision-Making: EPA's Superfund Community Involvement Program. Journal of Environmental Management 77(3):165182.

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D.L. Morgan , and R.L. Kruger 1998. The Focus Group Guidebook, volume 1: The Focus Group Kit. Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA, 103 pp.

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G. Rowe , and L. Frewer . 2005. A Typology of Public Engagement Mechanisms. Science, Technology, & Human Values 30(2):251290.

T. Webler , and S.P. Tuler . 2006. Four Perspectives on Public Participation Process in Environmental Assessment and Decision Making: Combined Results from 10 Case Studies. Policy Studies Journal 34(4):699722.

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Environmental Practice
  • ISSN: 1466-0466
  • EISSN: 1466-0474
  • URL: /core/journals/environmental-practice
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