Multicriteria Mapping meets Operational Research for Development

By Bipashyee Ghosh and Josie Coburn

On Thursday (9 July), we facilitated a Multicriteria Mapping workshop as part of a two-day Operational Research for Development workshop, OR: Uplifting Living Conditions, a pre-conference workshop for EURO 2015 at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.

Bipashyee introduced the background and guiding principles of MCM, followed by the MCM methodology itself and the software tool. The participants then had the opportunity to interact with the software tool and run a guided example project from start to finish, setting up the project, running engagements and collecting data, and analysing the results. 

Multicriteria Mapping (MCM) is a web-based application that is an interactive, multicriteria appraisal method for exploring contrasting perspectives on complex, uncertain and contested issues. It aims to help ‘open up’ technical assessment by systematically ‘mapping’ the practical implications of alternative options, knowledges, framings and values.

The Multicriteria Mapping (MCM) tool has been developed by Professor Andy Stirling, an academic with the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex, in collaboration with the Sussex Innovation Centre, and DabApps – a Brighton-based digital applications developer.

This web-based version of MCM, while aimed primarily at strategic debates involving government, commercial and voluntary sectors, can be used in any setting, anywhere in the world, where there is an interest in better understanding the views of others.

The recent workshop has provided valuable feedback about the tool from a group of highly engaged Operational Research for Development researchers with a diverse range of interests including finance, neuroscience, health and education.

For more information on MCM and to use it for yourself, visit the Multicriteria Mapping website.

Bipashyee Ghosh is a doctoral researcher in Science and Technology Policy at SPRU – Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex, UK and a member of the STEPS Centre.

Josie Coburn is a Research Assistant at SPRU.