A delphi-style approach for developing an integrated food/non-food system sustainability assessment tool. Mullender, S., M.; Sandor, M.; Pisanelli, A.; Kozyra, J.; Borek, R.; Ghaley, B., B.; Gliga, A.; von Oppenkowski, M.; Roesler, T.; Salkanovic, E.; Smith, J.; and Smith, L., G. Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 84(August 2019):106415, Elsevier, 2020.
A delphi-style approach for developing an integrated food/non-food system sustainability assessment tool [link]Website  abstract   bibtex   
Sustainability assessment is a complex field and its uptake amongst agricultural producers limited. Furthermore, the scope of current sustainability assessment tools does not extend to systems in which food production is integrated with production of non-food biomass (e.g. agroforestry). Participatory approaches to tool development offer a means to overcome the subjectivity of researcher-led tool design and thus the potential to increase relevance and engagement. In this work we develop a Delphi-style methodology as a means to produce a sustainability assessment tool suitable to assess and feedback on an integrated food/non-food system. Using a widely accepted agricultural sustainability framework and an existing farm sustainability assessment tool as a base, stakeholders were engaged with across six countries and multiple stakeholder groups to identify key indicators to be added to the tool. The methodology developed is described in detail, framed in the setting of this tool development process but providing a novel framework applicable to any situation where indicators must be developed for a complex issue of interest across multiple perspectives and stakeholder groups. Feedback and learning from the experience is provided. It was found that, contrary to some opinion, the inclusion of a face-to-face discussion round as part of the Delphi procedure provides a valuable means for information exchange and a move towards consensus amongst stakeholders. By using a ‘snowball’ approach to the in person discussions, it appears too that the loss of the voices of more socially retiring individuals can be avoided. Final levels of agreement vary substantially across the different areas of sustainability, with indicators in some areas (e.g. environmental integrity) proving much less controversial than others (e.g. social wellbeing). Despite this, the methodology effectively reaches a level of consensus amongst diverse stakeholders sufficient to guide the selection of sustainability indicators with a good level of confidence.
@article{
 title = {A delphi-style approach for developing an integrated food/non-food system sustainability assessment tool},
 type = {article},
 year = {2020},
 identifiers = {[object Object]},
 keywords = {Agroforestry,Delphi,Participatory approach,Sustainability assessment,Sustainability framework,Sustainability indicator},
 pages = {106415},
 volume = {84},
 websites = {https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eiar.2020.106415},
 publisher = {Elsevier},
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 abstract = {Sustainability assessment is a complex field and its uptake amongst agricultural producers limited. Furthermore, the scope of current sustainability assessment tools does not extend to systems in which food production is integrated with production of non-food biomass (e.g. agroforestry). Participatory approaches to tool development offer a means to overcome the subjectivity of researcher-led tool design and thus the potential to increase relevance and engagement. In this work we develop a Delphi-style methodology as a means to produce a sustainability assessment tool suitable to assess and feedback on an integrated food/non-food system. Using a widely accepted agricultural sustainability framework and an existing farm sustainability assessment tool as a base, stakeholders were engaged with across six countries and multiple stakeholder groups to identify key indicators to be added to the tool. The methodology developed is described in detail, framed in the setting of this tool development process but providing a novel framework applicable to any situation where indicators must be developed for a complex issue of interest across multiple perspectives and stakeholder groups. Feedback and learning from the experience is provided. It was found that, contrary to some opinion, the inclusion of a face-to-face discussion round as part of the Delphi procedure provides a valuable means for information exchange and a move towards consensus amongst stakeholders. By using a ‘snowball’ approach to the in person discussions, it appears too that the loss of the voices of more socially retiring individuals can be avoided. Final levels of agreement vary substantially across the different areas of sustainability, with indicators in some areas (e.g. environmental integrity) proving much less controversial than others (e.g. social wellbeing). Despite this, the methodology effectively reaches a level of consensus amongst diverse stakeholders sufficient to guide the selection of sustainability indicators with a good level of confidence.},
 bibtype = {article},
 author = {Mullender, Samantha M. and Sandor, Mignon and Pisanelli, Andrea and Kozyra, Jerzy and Borek, Robert and Ghaley, Bhim B. and Gliga, Adrian and von Oppenkowski, Moritz and Roesler, Tim and Salkanovic, Eldina and Smith, Jo and Smith, Laurence G.},
 journal = {Environmental Impact Assessment Review},
 number = {August 2019}
}
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