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Structured Decision Making

Aim of the resource

Structured decision making is designed to deliver insight to decision makers about how well their objectives may be satisfied by potential alternative courses of action. It helps find acceptable solutions across groups, and clarifies divergent values that may underpin irreducible trade-offs.

Using the resource
Potential benefits from using the resource
Broad approach can be applied to a vast number of situations of different complexities and scales.
Handles conflicting values and uncertainty well over more simple analytic tools.
Partitions process into smaller steps, simplifying the social and technical components of the problem.
Clearly separates facts from values.
Potential limitations from using the resource
Large "human" element, so irresolvable conflicts between stakeholders can make progress impossible.
Little guidance on how to undertake the steps within Structured decision making.
Requires significant experience of Structured decision making to facilitate a fruitful outcome.

Structured decision making is an organised approach to identifying and evaluating creative options and making choices in complex decision situations. Gregory et al. (2012) defines structured decision making as ‘the collaborative and facilitated application of multiple objective decision-making and group-deliberation methods’. Structured decision making is designed to deliver insight to decision makers about how well their objectives may be satisfied by potential alternative courses of action. It is a very general approach to decision support, which can conceivably be applied to any environmental decision problem at any scale and any level of social and institutional complexity.

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