Participatory Approach

Participatory approach are adapted to the needs and capacities of the different stakeholder groups and is planned in their timing and formats

Participatory activities aim to facilitate, first, the free expression of many diverse or even conflicting ideas and, second, to guide a convergence process, geared towards the consensus vision to be developed.

ET2050 project partners responsible for conducting participatory activities have a long experience of similar processes at the European, national and regional/local levels, and do not underestimate its difficulty. Therefore, the ET2050 project team will devote the necessary resources to the participatory process and will assist the ESPON CU in organising and conducting them.

Therefore, the design of the participatory process we propose is based on the three following concepts:

  • The process will be customised to stakeholders. Various stakeholder groups will be encouraged to contribute, but not every group will necessarily participate in all activities. Targeted activities and formats for interaction will be developed; well structured workshops, virtual interaction and on-line surveys, as well as personal in-depth interviews, all coordinated with the ESPON Coordination Unit. From the outset, all the participants will be clearly informed about the purpose of the exercise and the activities planned over the three-year period. To this end, a Participatory plan will be defined. 
  • The process will be catalysed by experts, who will initiate and provide guidance to the interaction of opinions. During the process, the broad expertise available within the consortium will provide an excellent basis to guide the visioning process. First, they will provide assumptions and hypothesis to be discussed and make sure that room is made for all opinions to be expressed. Second, they will promote convergence around key issues, essentially by providing insights based on sound scientific research from state-of-the-art forecast models and Territorial Impact Assessment methods.
  • The process will be iterative as we are clearly dealing with many plausible and legitimate forms of territorial visions. It is highly improbable (and even non-desirable) that a degree of consensus will be achieved at early stages of the process, since it often leads to business-as-usual, or just “politically correct” recommendations. At the same time, convergence in areas where empiric evidence and facts are available should be facilitated since the beginning.

Supporting the participatory approach with an appropriate communication strategy will be instrumental to the process. A wide array of innovative visualisation tools will be exploited, from cartography to small movies illustrating the scenarios and the Vision.

To avoid any duplication of efforts, and increase the synergies, full advantage will be taken of opportunities for interaction already provided by the ESPON CU, including regular ESPON events (Open Seminars, Internal Seminars and Workshops), as well as the ESPON website (Partner’s café, Linkedin…) and newsletters. Therefore, the Participatory plan presented later in this proposal has to be considered as a starting point for discussion with the ESPON CU, and will be adjusted to the CU requirements during the first weeks of the project and submitted in the Inception Report.

The ET2050 website (linked to as appropriate) will be permanently updated to inform the ESPON CU in advance concerning actions related to the participatory and dissemination activities. [top]


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