Canadian Forest Service Publications

The Delphi method as an alternative to standard committee meetings to identify ecological issues for forest ecosystem-based management: A case study. 2016. Waldron, K.; Lussier, J.-M.; Thiffault, N.; Bujold, F.; Ruel, J.-C.; St-Onge, B. For. Chron. 92: 453-464.

Year: 2016

Issued by: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 38714

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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The face-to-face committee meeting is one of the most common expert consultation methods used in forest management. However, it is also laden with disadvantages, such as potential inequity in its consideration of participant opinion and the time involvement required. This led us to evaluate another expert consultation method, the Delphi method, namely by implementing it to identify ecological issues associated with second-growth boreal forests in eastern Canada. We compared this method to the committee meeting method with regard to the time investment required and the efficiency of the consultations. In all, 21 experts participated in three rounds of our implementation of the Delphi method. Subsequently, we administered an appreciation survey comparing the participants’ attitudes vis-à-vis the two methods. These comparisons showed that Delphi was less time-consuming compared to a committee meeting consultation of comparable scope. Participants also considered the Delphi method to be fair and impartial, as all opinions were considered, which is frequently not the case in committee meetings. That said, participants believed that committee meetings allowed for a greater understanding of others’ opinions. Overall, the application of the Delphi method was shown to be a promising way of determining forest ecosystem management issues.