Briefing the Decision Maker

Sometimes the participants in an SDM process are the decision makers. Other times the SDM process is advisory in nature, and the outcomes of the process need to be communicated to decision makers. To ensure decision makers can make informed an informed choice, the briefing should include:

The decision frame, including the focus decision(s) and how it relates to other decisions

The decision objectives and their associated performance measures

A general description of the range of alternatives considered

The short-listed alternatives and the process for arriving at the short-list and/or a recommended alternative

An explanation of the key trade-offs that decision makers need to consider

Any decision-relevant uncertainties and how they influence the decision

A summary of the degree of support from key stakeholders, Indigenous groups, partners, and government agencies who have been engaged and the reasons for those preferences

The results of any ranking or preference assessment methods, where the use of such methods was agreed as part of the decision making context.

All of the above, plus the decision maker’s rationale for the selected option, should be included in the final documentation of the decision. If a commitment to ongoing monitoring and review is part of the decision, this commitment should be made publicly at the time of announcing the decision, along with a commitment of resources for effective implementation and monitoring.