Multi-Party Decision-Making Processes

The solutions to complex problems rarely come down to one obvious decision. Rather, these problems are solved through a series of smaller decisions, many of which have a mix of positive and negative consequences depending on the perspectives of the people involved. Despite the potentially negative consequences of decision-making, decisions need to be made, and in the absence of an obviously “right” decision, groups need to figure out and agree upon an option that is good enough to be worth trying.

Different processes have been used over the years to get to decisions, ranging from negotiated or mediated processes to collaborative, consensus-focused dialogues.

As a whole, these processes have had mixed success in helping parties reach an agreement and when an agreement isn’t reached, there is little success in ensuring parties follow through on their agreement. The tools provided here are designed to give you more ways of tackling decision-making processes while helping you find the right one in order to obtain a shared agreement in your setting, beginning with an exploration of different types of processes.