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Voices from the Forest: What Participants Expect of a Public Participation Process

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It is now widely accepted that members of the public should be involved in environmental decision-making. Many researchers have attempted to define process and outcome principles for "good" public participation. The emphasis of this study is on the process. We asked participants in a forest policymaking process about their ideas of "good" process. We used an approach based on the qualitative method of grounded theory to inductively identify principles. Seven categories of principles emerged from the analysis: access to the process, power to influence process and outcomes, access to information, structural characteristics to promote constructive interactions, facilitation of constructive personal behaviors, adequate analysis, and enabling of future processes. We elaborate and discuss the categories and variations among the participants. The results provide a detailed and intriguing picture of how the people in our case study think about participation.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 July 1999

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