Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

A-Focus group (procedure for public participation in environmental assessment)

Summary :
IA-Focus Groups are a participatory technique for including citizens in environmental assessments. This technique should be relevant for public administrations and private corporations who want to lead a dialogue with their constituency or customers about environmental aspects of their activities.

IA-Focus Groups were designed and tested in the context of climate change and energy use issues. They consisted of five discussion sessions per group. The citizens participating in the groups were given access to scientific assessments of climate and energy issues in the form of computer models or results of such modelling exercises. At the end of this five session process, the citizens formulated their assessment of the problem and of related policy options.

The IA-Focus Group method developed within the project could easily be adapted to other topics as well. For less complex issues, the procedure consisting of five discussion sessions with citizens could be simplified, making such applications less time consuming and less costly. An electronic web-based tutorial, accessible via the project website ( after the end of the project, makes this technique easy to use by third parties.

Reported by

Darmstadt University of Technology
Residenzscholoss Marktplatz 15
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