The Rathenau Institute's approach to participatory Technology Assessment

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    Abstract

    During the last decade, the Rathenau Institute, the Dutch national technology assessment (TA) organisation, has build up a lot of experience in the field of participatory TA (PTA). The development of PTA within the Rathenau Institute can be told along two lines of development: public PTA and expert-stakeholder PTA. In public PTA citizens play a central role, and when experts or stakeholders become actively involved within the TA process, we speak of expert-stakeholder PTA. In section 1, these two types of PTA will be introduced, their use in different problem settings will be explained, and some design characteristics of public and expert-stakeholder PTA will be discussed. In section 2, the Rathenau Institute's experience with both types of PTA will be described and reflected upon. Typical for public PTA at the Rathenau Institute is the parallel citizens' panel. This implies that involving the public is an activity in addition to classical TA methods. Instead of replacing studies and expert workshops, public involvement in the form of a lay panel complements them. The Rathenau Institute's approach to expert-stakeholder PTA can best be characterised as interactive TA. In interactive TA the conclusions of the TA project result from interaction between the involved actors and the TA analyst. Finally in section 3, conclusions are drawn and some challenges for the future with respect to PTA at the Rathenau Institute are formulated.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)13-20
    JournalTA-Datenbank Nachrichten
    Volume9
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2000

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