Stakeholder engagement in practice
Partners involved: BFS (Lead) - SCK CEN - CEPN - JSI - ISGlobal - EEAE - UMIL - VUJE - IFIN-HH - ULG - EIMV
The aim of ENGAGE WP2 was to highlight through case studies and more systematic mapping exercises the forms of real or potential stakeholder engagement in radiation protection that can be observed in practice.
The analysis included:
- 15 national case studies (Geysmans et al., 2020; Schieber et al., 2020; Turcanu et al., 2020 in the special issue of Radioprotection 55 (HS2)), covering a broad range of participation practices in the three exposure contexs addressed witin ENGAGE: emergency preparedness, response and recovery; indoor radon; and medical exposures to ionising radiations. The analysis directed attention to what the issues at stake are; how the outcomes and processes of participation are crafted; what are the main challenges and opportunities; and how these practices relate to the frames set by the legislative documents and guidelines analysed.
- a study undertaken in the framework of a PhD work on citizen science (Kenens, 2020, special issue of Radioprotection 55 (HS2)).
- two cross-national studies on the interaction with stakeholders though radon websites (Perko and Turcanu, 2019) and stakeholder engagement actions initiated by regulatory authorities in the field of nuclear emergency preparedness (Perko et al, 2020, special issue of Radioprotection 55 (HS2)).
ENGAGE showed that in all three fields a distinction is often made between formal engagement of professional/institutional stakeholders and that of broader publics. In most cases, it is professionals and institutional stakeholders who are involved in collaboration and joint decision-making, while engagement of wider publics is mostly seen as a means to raise public awareness and communicate, or to trigger predefined actions. Several ENGAGE recommendations direct therefore attention towards the normative and substantive rationales for engagement. In the field of emergency management, ENGAGE demonstrated the existence and importance of informal stakeholder engagement.
This incites reflection on the existence and possible contribution of informal engagement in other exposure situations (e.g. citizen science in radon management), which would benefit from further exploration. Another common finding across the three fields is the call for integration of radiation protection in broader frameworks, e.g. integrating radon risk mitigation in a broader environmental and public health protection approach focused on indoor air quality; integrating radiation protection into the general, patient-centred healthcare in the medical sector; or integrating nuclear emergency and recovery management in multi-hazard approaches.This highlights the importance of identifying and explicitly considering new stakeholders stemming from this integration, and their potential roles and responsibilities in radiological risk governance.