'Ground Truths’ and Scenarios: Examining and Testing Regional Policy in North West Wales

Rhydian Fon James, Peter Raymond Midmore, Dennis Aubrey Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper describes how regional policy issues in North West Wales have been explored with local stakeholders, using scenario development to organise indigenous knowledge and elicit interpretations of the wider world. The context of scenario development, both in general and in its participatory form, is explored, prior to an introduction to the study region and the policy framework which influences its development. In the latter part of the paper, the process of construction and development of scenarios in combination with Delphi-like iterative questionnaires is described, showing how the gathering, organisation and interpretation of opinions, information and data from key stakeholders can illustrate a range of potential regional futures. The approach allows considerable broadening of stakeholder engagement at low cost. The four resulting scenario narratives and the policy insights they yield diverge considerably from top-down strategic planning perspectives and prescriptions. The paper concludes by considering the general applicability of this guided method which draws on local knowledge of and involvement in policy decisions across different scales of impact, and provides more realistic and balanced perspectives, and demonstrates that enhanced quality and efficiency in decision-making as well as opportunities for institutional learning can be achieved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)643-662
JournalLocal Economy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 01 Sept 2013


  • scenarios
  • stakeholder engagement
  • regional economic policy
  • regional futures


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