WP3 – Stakeholder engagement

The final aim of the WP3 is to develop a stakeholder platform to be used to evaluate the feasibility of improved management practices in a reiterative approach. To this end, stakeholders (amongst farmer advisors, policy and decision makers from each partner countries) will be identified and consulted in order to corroborate the list of environmental and economic indicators (WP1), to identify main olive groves management practices currently applied to be used as model inputs (WP2), to highlight relevant barriers and incentives in their application and to evaluate improved management strategies resulting from WP4.

Task 3.1 – Stakeholder platform implementation

Leader: CNR, partners involved ALL including subcontractor
Duration M4-M8

During this task, a Web-based Stakeholders Platform (WSP) will be developed by the task leader so to be used during the stakeholder consultation process. To this end, each partner will provide CNR with a list of local stakeholders willing – and aware of the commitment – to collaborate with the project; four local groups of stakeholders will be compiled, one for each country (Italy, Spain, Cyprus and Greece). Stakeholders list will comprise farmers, farmer associations, advisors, agronomists, food processors, policy makers, etc. The WSP will consist of models and interfaces. Among models there will be (i) the stakeholders database, in which all the information about the stakeholders will be stored, such as name and affiliation, type of stakeholder, fields of expertise, etc.; (ii) the consultation database, in which all the information related to the different consultation rounds will be stored, such as participants, venues, documents, but also polls and surveys, etc.; and (iii) Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) database (see task 3.2 for description), i.e. all the information needed and produced by the AHP application. The platform will have two main interfaces: backend and frontend. The backend will allow partners to manage and process the data about the models, stakeholders consultation and the AHP. The frontend will allow the stakeholders to participate to the online consultation rounds, either AHP based or simple polls/surveys.

The stakeholder consultation will consist in different online rounds, using either polls/surveys or AHP, on the basis of partners decision and results of the previous rounds. This will allow the iterative consultation to be more flexible and to adapt to the project needs, while avoiding to summon the stakeholders to physical meetings. Consultation rounds will be explained in the following tasks 3.2 and 3.3; however, the platform will be flexible so to allow other, unforeseen rounds to be carried out on-the-fly in order to have the stakeholders support about project outputs/tasks, if the consortium will find it helpful during the development of the project.

Task 3.2 – Stakeholder consultation for current management practices barriers/incentives

Leader: CREA, partners involved ALL, including subcontractor
Duration M7-M11

Together with stakeholders identified in task 3.1, the main management practices used in the olive tree cultivation will first be identified, and then the related main barriers and incentives will be analysed.

Each group of local stakeholders will be asked to fill a survey in which the local management practices will be prioritised. Prioritisation will be based on a list compiled and approved by the consortium, to which stakeholders will be allowed to add practices (if not in the list). In case of newly added practices, a second round will be proposed if needed to adjust the prioritisation.

The second phase will be devoted to assess the barriers and incentives to the identified practices, and this analysis will likely rely on the AHP (Analytic Hierarchy Process), a widely used Multi-Attribute Decision Method aimed at facilitating decisions with multiple competing criteria, as well as providing support in the prioritisation of options and criteria. This method is particularly fit for this project since it is made for multi-criteria analysis involving subjective judgment of different stakeholders, while providing useful information about the criteria and the preferences, as well as quantitative data about the decisions. The method allows the comparison of options – even if they are not easily comparable – by converting them into numerical values: the evaluation, then, is done by mean of a pairwise comparison. This way, each participant can compare the options and the criteria on the basis of his/her personal experience, data and judgment.

The first step of the AHP is the definition of the problem (i.e. “Olive tree production on the Mediterranean shores in changing climate”), which will likely be the same for all the AHP implementations during the project. Subsequently the goal (or objective, i.e. “what are the main barriers for the current olive tree management practices?”) related to the identified problem has to be clearly stated. Then, the possible options (or alternatives) to achieve the goal must be defined (i.e. “economic issues, normative framework, lack of expertise, technical limitations, water availability”), as well as the criteria (and the related sub-criteria if needed) to be used (i.e. “Technical feasibility”). Finally, the group of stakeholders identified is engaged and each participant has to do a pairwise comparison for each couple of elements at the same hierarchical level against each of the elements on the higher level; for the complete description of the AHP please refer to Saaty (1982, revised edition 2000). The exercise can be done for both barriers and incentives, as well as used in the next task.

The consortium, however, can decide, on the basis of the analysis of the stakeholders groups, as well as on partners needs/suggestions, to simplify the consultation, by using surveys or even polls, depending on the stakeholders groups.

Outputs of this task will be used to feed WP2 and WP4.

Task 3.3 – Stakeholder consultation to address adoption constraints

Leader: CNR, partners involved ALL, including subcontractor
Duration M30-35

In this task stakeholders will be asked to give important insights about the constraints related to the adoption of different management practices in climate change scenarios derived from WP4. To this end a combination of AHP, surveys or polls will be used.

The goal, however, will be to evaluate and validate the feasibility of management improvement strategies as derived from WP4, rising possible constraints and incentives to their adoption in the present period and in the future. Outputs from this task will be used fine-tune effective olive tree management practices in the Mediterranean countries through a reiterative process with WP4.

Deliverables

D3.1 (Month 11) Report on current olive tree management practices and relative barriers/incentives

D3.2 (Month 35) Report on incentives/barriers on olive tree improved strategies of management practices resulting from stakeholders consultations

Milestones

M3.1 (Month 8) Web-based Stakeholders Platform online and fully functional

M3.2 (Month 10) First stakeholders consultation

M3.3 (Month 34) Second stakeholder consultation