The purpose of this paper is to clearly identify a problem area in participation and indicate the potential for technology and eParticipation research as a response to the problem.
The approach taken within the paper is to develop a hypothetical argument illustrating deficiencies in the current UK approach to public participation and the use of expert evidence in consultation processes. The argument is developed using traffic analysis as an exemplar of such expert input to planning enquiries.
The literature indicates the current confrontation needs to be replaced by a process that supports informative communication and learning; treats citizens fairly and empowers them to have genuine impact on the decisions. Based on the hypothesis that the capability to re‐organise and present the same data in different forms and contexts enables information technology (IT) to bridge gap between different stakeholder groups the paper proposes the development of a collaborative approach to traffic assessment.
Such an enhanced process with appropriate IT support – SIRTASS – will enable planning activities achieve better decisions with greater community and citizen acceptance. If applied as a general approach there is the potential to significantly improve the speed and quality of the current UK system.
This paper is part of the debate about lack of participation and points to a particular area where research could make a significant contribution.
Elliman, T. and Taylor, S. (2008), "Stakeholder enfranchisement: The need for tools to support stakeholders in traffic assessment activities", Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, Vol. 2 No. 2, pp. 119-127. https://doi.org/10.1108/17506160810876194
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