Table 2. General description of the different participative methods used in the Amudarya Case Study

  Good for Process of application Limitations
Nominal group technique
•  Ensuring equal participation of each member of the team
•  Building commitment
•  Making the team’s consensus visible
Introduction and explanation done by facilitator
Silent generation of ideas by participants (10 minutes)
Sharing ideas (without debates) by participants, recorded by facilitator (round robin process; 15-30 minutes)
Group discussion (30-45 minutes)
Voting and ranking
Opinions may not converge in the voting process
Cross-fertilization of ideas may be constrained
The process may appear to be too mechanical
Community based research (FGDs)
  Community-based research often produces unanticipated and far reaching ancillary results, including new social relationships and trust, as well as heightened social efficacy Choosing the question which build relationship with the stakeholders in order to understand how the research will fit in with their social change goals
Designing the method for the considerations of how involved the community group wants to be in the actual research
Collecting the data for the ability to build and skills and relationships by collecting data together and from each other
Analyzing the data
Reporting the results could be an oral report at a community meeting or testimony at city council or a glossy brochure§
Difficulties with respect to funding, and establishing continuity between community contacts and institutions and the research team.
Strategic Choice Approach
  •  Aiding decisions to be made in particular planning and development situations
•  Providing an interactive forum between people with different backgrounds and skills
Shaping the problem areas
Designing what can be done, looking at possibilities and drawbacks.
Comparing various ideas, evaluating the best possible way forward
Choosing the best ideas for solving the problems acknowledging any uncertainties
SCA has methodical constraints, which do not allow to seek deeper for the single solutions
Rigidness and lack of motivation of the participants due to the cyclical continuity of the process
Role playing game (as in companion modeling)
  •  Embedding participants in a simulation experiment; making local knowledge more valuable, favouring communication and creativity
•  Enhancing participants understanding of their mutual interactions and system
•  Providing scientists with opportunity to better understand behaviours and interactions|
Building a conceptual model focusing on the question at stake
RPG design from model : simple resource dynamics; spatial characteristics transferred on game boards ; physical and social constraints become game rules; resource use and management are left to players with different roles
RPG operationalisation : test and calibration, moderators training
RPG sessions : game and debriefings
Back to the loop : analysis , question reshaping, model evolution
#Good knowledge of local context and power relationships is needed to decipher game events, conduct efficient de-briefing, and take care that the process is not used to reinforce existing power in-equalities
High demands for well organized debriefing, language barriers
Needs at least 3 people to organize, well trained local facilitators , at least ½ day
Cognitive mapping
  Collection, structure and integration of different understandings of the environmental system to be managed and of the information needed for the management process†† Consideration of overall question/goal by facilitator
Writting down, on individual cards, causes that are important to a participant and that are directly linked to the question (1st order cause)
Writting down causes that influence those already in the model, i.e. behind them (2nd order causes)
Identification of the relationships
Giving a name to the model and signing it
The cognitive maps are not self-explaining, good records of presentations by the owners are essential.
Group model building
  •  Team learning
•  Consensus formation
•  Improved acceptance of management decision‡‡
Consideration of overall question/goal by facilitator
Nomination of a referee
One by one presents the one card from the own cognitive maps and adds it to the model
Discussion about the meaning of each card and its position
Grouping cards by facilitator
Possible definition for potential measures and relevant actors
Limited representational capabilities of graph-based models. They cannot always represent consistently dynamic relationships between variables. For example, relationships that might change as a result of feedback effects or a tipping point being reached, cannot be easily represented using these static formats. See also Vennix (1996) for other problems.
Sample, 1984
Sclove, R. et al., 1998.
§ Stoecker, R. 2004.
| Barreteau et al., 2007.
Bousquet et al.., 2002
# Barreteau et al., 2003.
†† SEECON. 2007.
‡‡ Hare, M.2007.