Title:Participatory multicriteria decision analysis with Web-HIPRE: A case of lake regulation policy

Authors: Jyri Mustajoki, Raimo P. Hämäläinen and Mika Marttunen

Status: Environmental Modelling & Software, Vol. 19, No. 6, 2004, 537-547

Keywords: Multicriteria Decision Analysis, Decision Support Systems, Lake Regulation, Public Participation, World Wide Web

Environmental decision making typically concerns several stakeholders with conflicting views. Multicriteria decision analysis provides transparent ways to elicit and communicate individual preferences. When the stakeholders clearly understand each other's views, a consensus can be reached more easily. Computer software provides a substantial enhancement to support participatory decision making processes, for example, in the preference elicitation and in the analysis of the results. In this paper, we describe the first Web-based multicriteria decision support software called Web-HIPRE, and the use of it in participatory environmental modelling. The World Wide Web provides new possibilities to support the process, for example, by allowing distributed decision support. The stakeholders can be located in different geographical areas, especially in environmental problems. We illustrate the use of Web-HIPRE in a case dealing with the evaluation of regulation policies for the Lake Päijänne in Finland. Decision analysis interviews were carried out and preference models of some typical stakeholders were collaboratively analyzed in order to increase the understanding of other stakeholders' views. This proved to be an applicable approach in trying to reach consensus between the stakeholders. Web-HIPRE also provided a flexible way to allow complementary support via the Web.