In addition to 18 Public Listening Sessions, the MA Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) held more than 60, one-on-one stakeholder group interviews throughout the fall of 2008 (and continued to meet with stakeholders individually throughout the entire process).
The Massachusetts Ocean Partnership (staff and contractors) provided technical and logistical support for this EEA-led endeavor.
Role in Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning
Stakeholder inclusion is, by definition, essential to effective coastal and marine spatial planning and one-on-one engagement opportunities ensure that the views of primary stakeholder groups are heard (while at the same time affording the chance for individualized outreach).
Challenges & Applications
This approach is both logistically challenging and resource intensive (staff time) but can produce significant advances in social capital development (and ultimately improve buy on for the final planning product). Ideally, this approach would parallel efforts where stakeholder group leaders work within their respective constituencies to improve the degree of true sectoral “representation” and cross-sector dialogue is also fostered.
One-on-one (direct) meetings with individual stakeholder groups provide the best opportunity for information exchange (understanding stakeholder needs and explaining the planning process to stakeholders) while building social capital.