Using Stakeholder Processes in Environmental Decision making

STakeholderUsing Stakeholder
Processes in

An Evaluation of Lessons Learned, Key Issues,
and Future Challenges

Prepared By

Terry F.
Ruder Finn Washington

Timothy D.
ICF Incorporated
September 1998

I. Executive Summary

Stakeholder involvement in environmental decisionmaking by government and
industry is inevitable and will continue to expand. This study examines the major
reasons for the increased use of stakeholder processes, identifies some key issues and
challenges associated with managing them, and analyzes factors shaping their future

The study’s results are based upon an extensive literature review, an examination of
twenty-nine stakeholder case studies, and in-depth interviews with thirty-seven of the
nation’s leading experts and participants (representing government, industry,
environmental groups, and other perspectives) in environmental stakeholder
processes. Key observations and findings include:

The increased use of stakeholder processes over the past decade represents a
societal interest in more interactive forms of decisionmaking. Rather than a
transitory phenomenon, this development reflects a culmination of a series
of environmental, political, societal, and technological developments that
have begun to yield significant changes in the methods of making
environmental decisions.

Forces driving the evolution of environmental stakeholder processes include: a lack
of public confidence and trust in the environmental decisionmaking of many
government agencies and corporations; the increasing transparency of institutions
whose decisions affect environmental quality; greater societal expectations for
improved environmental quality; the enhanced ability of citizens to participate in
stakeholder processes; the growing diffusion of information technology and an
associated decentralization of decisionmaking in large institutions; and policy
commitments made by government agencies and industries to expand stakeholder
participation in their decision making processes.

Using Stakeholder Processes in Environmental Decision making

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