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Market research, electronic media and other remote methods

Telecommunications and the internet are providing ever-greater channels to elicit participation of the general public, as well as special interest groups. Strategy development by the UK’s Forestry Commission, for example, has frequently made use of telephone surveys of the public’s perception of forest values and their own needs. The UK and Belgian NSDSs received significant reactions to draft strategy papers placed on websites. But such ‘market research’ is not confined to the richer countries. It is being used in many countries where planners are becoming aware of the power of stakeholders to encourage change towards sustainable development, as in Grenada (Box 6.32).