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Risk Anal. 2017 Mar;37(3):487-501. doi: 10.1111/risa.12638. Epub 2017 Jan 17.

A Practical Approach to Address Uncertainty in Stakeholder Deliberations.

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Decision Research, Eugene, OR, USA/Halfmoon Bay, BC, Canada.
Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA.


This article addresses the difficulties of incorporating uncertainty about consequence estimates as part of stakeholder deliberations involving multiple alternatives. Although every prediction of future consequences necessarily involves uncertainty, a large gap exists between common practices for addressing uncertainty in stakeholder deliberations and the procedures of prescriptive decision-aiding models advanced by risk and decision analysts. We review the treatment of uncertainty at four main phases of the deliberative process: with experts asked to describe possible consequences of competing alternatives, with stakeholders who function both as individuals and as members of coalitions, with the stakeholder committee composed of all stakeholders, and with decisionmakers. We develop and recommend a model that uses certainty equivalents as a theoretically robust and practical approach for helping diverse stakeholders to incorporate uncertainties when evaluating multiple-objective alternatives as part of public policy decisions.


Alternatives; deliberations; public policy; stakeholders; uncertainty


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