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Improving the Policy Development Process through Social Learning: An Evaluation of Advisory Committees using the Provincial Nutrient Management Advisory Committee

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Title: Improving the Policy Development Process through Social Learning: An Evaluation of Advisory Committees using the Provincial Nutrient Management Advisory Committee
Author: Ferguson, Mark T.
Department: School of Environmental Design and Rural Development
Program: Rural Planning and Development
Advisor: FitzGibbon, John
Abstract: Successful policy development requires collaborative planning, stakeholder participation, and effective knowledge transfer to develop trust and understanding among stakeholders; essentially social learning must take place in order to ensure policy formations are effective and sustained. It is thought that advisory committees fulfill these requirements for successful policy development. The Provincial Nutrient Management Advisory Committee (PNMAC) was used as a case study in assessing the suitability for stakeholder advisory committees as social learning and stakeholder participation processes. Interviews with PNMAC members were analyzed in revealing stakeholder perspectives and social learning tools that existed in the advisory committee process. Theories of collaborative planning, citizen participation, and social learning were used in analyzing these findings. Findings showed that advisory committees do foster social learning, through changes in stakeholder attitudes and trust development. Implementation benefits are limited to stakeholder groups’ abilities to disseminate knowledge and stakeholder group developments to their respective communities of practice.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/7554
Date: 2013-09


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