Engaging the public in outcomes based decision making

Our second evidence session hosted another diverse range of speakers and yet still managed to develop a coherent narrative that connected the thoughts of the speakers. It was encouraging how well it built on the insights from the last session, where we explored how wellbeing is understood and drives (or does not drive) decision making in infrastructure. It also highlighted some key themes about working across scale, different agencies and time that we hope to address in more detail in the next evidence session. As always, this blog is an immediate reflection of the key themes of the discussion, rather than detailed analysis. More formal analysis of all evidence sessions will be provided in the first report expected in early winter.

In this session, we focussed more on the process and outcomes of decision making.  There was wide consensus on the need for outcome-driven decision making, rather than decision making that was designed to deliver specific assets or monetary value. There was also a strong theme about the need for strong and early engagement of the public to legitimise these outcomes and improve the effectiveness and delivery of the projects which stemmed from them. These two principles inherently require an evolution in the way we measure value and in the process of decision making, which in turn requires new ways of working collaboratively.

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