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The use of Delphi methodology in agrifood policy development: Some lessons learned

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Lynn FrewerORCiD, Dr Arnout Fischer, Dr David Coles


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Developing policy in the agrifood area is an inexact process, usually relying upon effective integration of opinions from multiple experts from different disciplines, organisational types, and regions/countries. Delphi would appear to have the potential to overcome some of the typical limitations related to soliciting expert opinion and identifying consensus on future activities or options, particularly where relevant experts are dispersed geographically, and international consensus is required, as is the case in this domain. Three case studies, focused on the application of Delphi to emerging policy needs in international or European agrifood policy. are presented here to exemplify the utility of the technique. A number of practical recommendations are drawn from these case studies that may be applicable to other major policy making arenas. Among these recommendations are; that an exploratory workshop to refine round one Delphi questions is essential; that the implementation of "cascade" methodology (utilizing the personal contacts of researchers or members of existing policy networks) appears to increase response rates in subsequent Delphi rounds; and that the policy issue under discussion should be particularly relevant to stakeholders in order to increase participation rates. Further research might usefully focus on developing ways to incorporate measurements of uncertainty associated with stakeholder judgement into quantitative responses, and on establishing how best to utilise such information in feedback in subsequent Delphi rounds. Ensuring how best to inform policy uptake of the outputs of Delphi merits further research in particular. (C) 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Frewer LJ, Fischer ARH, Wentholt MTA, Marvin HJP, Ooms BW, Coles D, Rowe G

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Technological Forecasting and Social Change

Year: 2011

Volume: 78

Issue: 9

Pages: 1514-1525

Print publication date: 12/06/2011

ISSN (print): 0040-1625

ISSN (electronic): 1873-5509

Publisher: Elsevier Inc.


DOI: 10.1016/j.techfore.2011.05.005


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