This book exposes the barriers to inclusive and effective public policy making, which are the current decision making paradigm and commonly held ideas that reduce public policy problems to scientific and technical ones. Through both environmental policy and other decision making examples, readers are shown the commonalities of all decision making. Solution-oriented practitioners and stakeholders will find this book filling a conceptual and methodological gap in existing policy literature and practice. The authors deftly guide readers from post-normal science, wicked problems, and uncertainty concepts to a conceptually-grounded, practical implementation of a new approach, the open solution approach.
The Multi-criteria Integrated Resource Assessment (MIRA) is described as the first generation methodology that fulfills the expectations for the inclusive, transparent, and learning-based open solutions approach. MIRA is a holistic package of concepts, methods and analytical tools that is designed to assess Decision Uncertainty, the combined uncertainties that include data, problem formulation, expert judgments, and stakeholder opinions. Introduction of the Requisite Steps, the common steps found in all decision making, provides the yardstick for evaluating a variety of decision making processes, decision tools, and commonly found indices such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average or the Newsweek Green Ranking of corporations.
The use of anecdotes, policy stories, and case examples makes this a very readable and practical book for citizens and experts. With this book, readers are prepared to critically evaluate these common indices for their personal use as well as challenge policy processes as a stakeholder. For policy practitioners, this guidebook will become a rubric to ensure an effective public policy making process and to critically evaluate decision support tools.