REEDS laboratory (UVSQ, France) has developed a framework for sustainability assessment which is called INTEGRAAL, and which consists of six steps, guiding the process of multicriteria and multiactor assessment and deliberation. Here are the steps:
Multicriteria assessment is a process which allows structuring a social choice problems, and analysing the main issues at stake. Solutions are not straightforward, but can be reached by developing argumentation, in a deliberative framework.
This methodology suggests they are different categories of benefits, monetary and non-monetary, for different people, according to the different scenarios, and on different issues.
Identification by the stakeholder community of the social choice problem, or range of options (building a nuclear plan or relying on a mix of renewable energy). This delivers the context, the scale, and the dynamics of the exercise.
Organise the social choice problem in terms of the actors concerned, the situations or options being assessed, and the value criteria. This means developing in a pragmatic way, typologies or classifications of:
(1) the stakeholders who are impacted by the problem or by the impact of the means of addressing it;
(2) the policies, strategy options, and scenarios to be appraised; and
(3) the values or principles of acceptability that the stakeholders hold.
➢ REEDS has developed a tool, the Deliberation Matrix, which can be used to organise the interfacing of the options for evaluation relative to the stakeholders and relative to the performance criteria. More here.
Step THREE: Representation of the system
Identify and mobilise information and tools for system representation (e.g., maps, models of processes and systems) that can help to ‘ground’ the deliberations in a robust knowledge base and, more particularly, that will assist in populating catalogues of indicators representing the stakeholders’ reference points when working to evaluate situations and scenarios.
Step FOUR: Assess & Deliberate
Mobilise the actors for tasks of deliberation. This step relies on the framework and information developed in steps 1-3 above. It produces outcomes in the formal sense of a multi-actor multi-criteria evaluation. It also provides insights and learning to participants via the discussions that take place and observation of the respective positions adopted and of how these evolve through the collective learning that occurs.
Step FIVE: Communicate
Communication of Results & Recommendations. This step includes, but is not limited to, the final reporting stages of an evaluation exercise. It also includes all tasks “along the way” of information sharing relating to the design and preparations of deliberations, documentation of discussions and intermediate results.
Step SIX: Reflect & (option) Return
Reflection on the outcomes obtained and, in an iterative sense, return to Step ONE of the process in order to review the entire evaluation sequence or, as seems fit, to formulate new specific evaluation problems.