Deliberative Mapping involves both specialists and members of the public. It combines various approaches to assess how participants rate different policy options against a set of criteria. You should use deliberative mapping when you want to understand public preferences, especially when the issue area is complicated.
Deliberative Mapping brings citizens and specialists together to discuss complicated issues. The citizens' panels and the experts both consider the issue separately from one another, and then feed back to one another.
Deliberative Mapping has been described as follows: deliberativemapping.org
Citizens’ Panels and Joint Workshop
• Meeting 1: Introduce panellists and facilitation team, agree ground rules, discuss initial thoughts about problem in question and provide information.
• Meeting 2: Clarify, discuss and then agree meanings, definitions and implications of the options to be appraised.
• Meeting 3: Discuss and agree a shared set of criteria to be used by the panel to judge the pros and cons of the different options.
• Meeting 4: Panellists score options under chosen criteria. Panel reviews performance patterns then decides what issues to take to joint workshop.
• Joint workshop: Panellists join specialists to discuss issues raised in their deliberations.
• Meeting 5: Discuss workshop outcomes then the panellists re-score options and weight criteria to reflect priorities.
• Meeting 6: Panellists discuss individual and full panel results. They evaluate the process.
Specialists’ Interviews and Workshops
• Scoping interview: Discuss project and views about the problem in question.
• First MCM interview: Use MCM (Multi-Criteria Mapping is a quantitative, computer-assisted interview process software) to structure the appraisal of options under weighted criteria.
• Joint workshop: Specialists exchange views with citizens and respond to questions.
• Second MCM interview: Use MCM process to elicit any changes in specialist appraisals.
• Specialist workshop: Specialists reflect on the various perspectives and emerging findings; they evaluate the process.
• The process only works if the group is made up of both ‘specialists’ and members of the public.
• A sample of the public (often around 40 people) from varied backgrounds is recruited onto citizens' panels.
• The experts (often around 20) are selected to reflect the full spectrum of specialist knowledge in an area.
• Exact figures are hard to give due to the limited number of practical examples to date.
Approximate time expense
• This approach requires several months for the numerous meetings and workshops.
• Can create a good understanding of which options different groups in general would prefer if they had the chance to learn more about the issue.
• Deliberative mapping can deliver greater legitimacy for decisions and information about public preferences towards policy options. Deliberative mapping can be useful when mapping out the range of values and priorities held by public and 'expert' individuals towards a particular controversy or series of policy options.
• The results are considered opinions rather than gut reactions.
• Specialists contribute to the process without dominating.
• Difficult to involve large numbers
• High in cost and time-commitment
• The results of the process can be contradictory views that leave decision-makers without clear guidance.
• Very few people have practical experience of running this kind of process.
• Cannot deliver a consensus view or a shared vision.
• It is not a very good at building better relationships between groups.
Social Research Developed from Multi-Attribute Decision Analysis (MADA) by academics to resolve problems such as expert-dominated discussion in other participatory methods.
Image by tangyauhoong.
Generate new ideas (innovation)
Reach consensus and overcome conflict
Number of participants
A Group which broadly reflects the Demographic make up of a certain community or population
Level of awareness and interest
participants are well informed and can articulate their interests
Crime and justice
Culture and arts
Environment and climate change
Health and well-being
Housing and Planning
Science and technology
Limit search to...
... face to face processes
Level of involvement
Children and young people
Ethnic minority groups
Groups with low levels of literacy/confidence
People with learning difficulties