klik - klima konzept 2030


The realisation of a participatory approach consists of a variety of stages, namely stakeholder identification, defining levels of participation as well as frequency and the decision upon participation techniques.


  Stakeholder identification

 When identifying stakeholders for a participatory approach at organisations, it is important to consider that such approaches require large amounts of time and financial resources. Therefore, it is necessary for organisational purposes to keep the number of individuals involved low and to focus on intense participation with small groups. However, in order to include all stakeholders according to their level of interest and capability, it is essential to identify different stakeholder group (SGs) which will all be encouraged to participate in different ways. For this project, four different SGs have been identified.

•    SG 1 are members of each of the three partner-institutes for this project who have been selected to represent all members from their institute in respect of work groups and hierarchy differences.

•    SG 2 are the remaining organisational members of the three partner-institutes, however, their participation will be less intense as they are represented by SG 1 members.

•    SG 3 consists of the university’s management level and additional organisational stakeholders who belong to the organisation but are not directly associated with the three institutes, such as technicians or members of the environmental working group.

•    SG 4 are external stakeholders such as funders, advisers and interested members of the public, who have an interest in monitoring the progress of the project.




  Degree of participation

 The second step is to identify the degree of stakeholder participation. There are the five degrees of participation: delegation, co-decision, collaboration, consultation and information. Due to contextual and personal variances between the SGs scope for adaptability is required. Therefore, each group is attributed with a primary and secondary degree of participation. SG 1 is attributed with levels of delegation and co-decision, due to the group’s capacity to influence and shape the decision making process. SG 2 have been attributed with primary levels of collaboration as they are not required to contribute on an intensive level and their suggestions are useful for enriching the decision-making process but not deciding upon it. Their secondary participation level is co-decision. SG 3 consists of the management level as well as university experts and is placed in the consultation level, where decisions can be shaped and the decision making process can benefit from it. The secondary degree is information, in order to keep everyone informed about the process of the project and opportunities for them to contribute. SG 4 consists of external stakeholders, their participation level is information, however, if an external stakeholder should get particularly interested about the project they can contribute in the form of consultation.



 Frequency of participation

 The next step in realising a participation project is to identify the frequency with which stakeholders participate. As there is a difference between ongoing stakeholder participation and ad-hoc participation, there is a need for combining both in order to receive a realistic picture of the participation process. Ongoing stakeholder participation has a different nature as it requires stronger commitment from participants. Furthermore, through this increased intensity it is possible to generate deeper insight into stakeholders’ values and attitudes. On the other hand, ad hoc participation has the advantage of being resource efficient in terms of reducing the time which needs to be invested and also financial resources only need to be spent whenever there is a reason to participate. For the purpose of realising a stakeholder project, it is beneficial to establish a correlation between degree and frequency of participation.



 Participation methods

 According to a classification of respective participation methods for the varying degrees of participation, the appropriate participation method for SG 1 is a focus group approach, as the central participatory element, and workshops as the peripheral approach, applying to delegation and co-decision respectively. For SG 2 the fitting participation methods consist of surveys and interaction events for the collaboration aspect while also for this SG workshops apply as part of the co-decision participation level. For SG 3, as consultation is their primary degree of participation, regular presentations need to be given in order to keep these stakeholders informed and also to collect feedback for the future process. For information purposes SG 3 should furthermore be kept up-to-date by sending of newsletters and reports. SG 4 received the same newsletters, reports and information needs to be provided for them on the website. However, as they are also secondarily being consulted, presentations for external stakeholders should be part of the participation method portfolio.