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We are happy to provide you with more information. We can give you a presentation of (completed) projects and the PVE method, and can work with you to develop your questions or the design of your participation process.


In what kind of situations is a consultation useful?

You can use a consultation in two ways:

  1. To shape participation.

A consultation ensures supported decision-making and reduces resistance.

  • The majority of participants appreciate the initiative of the decision-maker to involve them.
  • The majority of participants indicate that they are more likely to accept the government’s choice.
  • The majority of participants indicate that the decision-maker does not have to follow the participant’s advice to the letter
  • Those with a lower level of education are even more positive about this method than those with a higher level of education.

2. To evaluate policy.

A consultation can determine policy effects that are difficult to value. Existing policies can be evaluated, as well as new policies.

Social added value of policy options can be calculated with econometric choice models (linkout site TU). We can also calculate how characteristics of participants are related to their preferences. For example: do older and younger people have different preferences for relaxing CoVid measures?

What different methods do you use for consultations?

We base our consultations on one of the following scientific methodologies:

  1. The Participatory Value Evaluation (PVE) is the consultation method we use most often to facilitate participation or to evaluate different policy options.

The essence of a PVE is that participants are put in the position of the decision-maker through an online environment.

  • Participants experience the dilemma of the decision-maker
  • Participants advise the decision-maker
  • Decision-makers gain insight into the participating populations’ values, preferences, and concerns

Participant responses provide both quantitative (statistical) and qualitative (substantive) insights.

2. The Discrete Choice Experiments (DCE). We use this method to identify preferences of a product or policy option.

The DCE is a scientific methodology used to identify preferences for (features of) a product or a policy option. Based on these preferences, behavioral responses can be predicted, or support for policies can be estimated.

When to use which methodology for a consultation?

This depends on the issue at hand.

  • Do you want large groups of people to participate? If so, the PVE method is ideally suited.
  • Do you want to evaluate different policy options? If so, the PVE method is also ideally suited for valuing the social costs and benefits of the various policy options.
  • Do you want to identify preferences for a product or policy option and, in particular, how these preferences depend on the characteristics of a product/policy option? If so, the DCE is ideally suited for the purpose.

We will help you with this choice.

What tools do you use for the consultations?

That depends on the issue and the methodology.

For most issues around participation and evaluation, we use the PVE method. There was no tool able to do this so we developed our own platform: Wevaluate, which we most often use for consultations.

We have also developed an infographic-based consultation that can be used as an offline alternative or complement to Wevaluate.

For specific issues around product preferences by policy option, we use the DCE method. For this we use existing software.

Don't you just make complicated surveys?

You would think so, but no. A consultation offers much more than a survey.

A survey is often very limited. You can use it to get reactions to a single plan or idea, but often the plan has already been thought-out and the survey invites the citizen/customer/employee to judge it. This often results in the so-called, ‘I want it all and I want it now’ reactions. The participant often feels no satisfaction because they are only allowed to respond to a plan that is already fixed.

A consultation with Wevaluate offers much more than a normal survey in 3 ways:

  1. A consultation with Wevaluate invites consideration and puts the citizen/customer/employee in a constructive position. The participant is involved early in a dilemma and feels taken seriously. They make a substantive contribution.
  2. A consultation facilitates active communication. Participants learn an enormous amount about a topic in an active and enjoyable manner. Based on information, they can try a choice and see the effect. Then they can try something else. Information given through trial and error has proven to be much more effective than passive communication.
  3. A consultation facilitates two-way communication. The participant motivates her choices in advice to the policy/decision-maker.

hat are the advantages of a consultation with Wevaluate compared to physical information meetings?

  • More scalable. In principle the whole of the Netherlands can participate at the same time.
  • More efficient. You can involve the participating population in just 20-30 minutes, for just a few euros per participant.
  • More representative. The low participation threshold enables a large and diverse group of the population to participate; not just the passionate supporters and opponents, or people with a lot of time (the ‘usual suspects’).
  • Scientifically validated. Our structured method ensures a uniform approach and is based on the latest scientific research.

What are the disadvantages of a consultation with Wevaluate compared to physical information meetings?

You miss face-to-face communication between people. An online consultation doesn’t appeal to everyone; some people go to public hearings for contact with others.

Therefore, we believe that online consultations should not completely replace physical methods, but be used as a scalable addition. In some processes, we choose to have people do the consultation together offline.

Mede-oprichter & Directeur Projecten Populytics - Shannon Spruit

Shannon Spruit
Co-founder & Director Projects

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