The policy problem addressed in this article is the perceived under-exploitation of the potential availability of water resources in the town of Troina (a municipality of eastern Sicily, Italy). In order to help the local town administration, which raised this issue, a trans-disciplinary research team was formed with the purpose of testing some explanatory hypotheses and to provide possible alternatives for action. The research design and process consisted of the following steps, (1) a multicriteria evaluation used as a learning tool to understand the main structure of the problem at hand and to explore its qualitative dimensions; (2) analysis of the structure of power interests and stakeholders (ranging from local to regional social actors) by means of an institutional analysis; (3) field research involving in-depth interviews with key actors, and a survey of local residents. This approach has proven very effective for finding out whether some real social compromise solutions exist. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.
- Multicriteria evaluation
- Novel approach to imprecise assessment and decision environments method
- Participatory approach
- Social research