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MCM Recommended Readings
How can I quickly get my head around what MCM is and how it fits in and differs from other approaches?

Summary of the Basic Approach: Ross, A., & Stirling, A. (2004e). Deliberative Mapping Briefing 5: Using the Multi-Criteria Mapping (MCM) technique. Brighton: University of Sussex.

A summary of the first ever MCM project: Stirling, A., Mayer, S., Vines, G. (1999). A summary of the first multicriteria mapping project, looking at options for sustainable food production, Rethinking Risk Project, University of Sussex.

An overview of one application of the method: Stirling, A., Lobstein, T., & Millstone, E. (2007). Methodology for obtaining stakeholder assessments of obesity policy options in the PorGrow project. Obesity Reviews, 8, 17–27. doi:10.1111/j.1467-789X.2007.00355.x

Summaries of Using MCM with Deliberative Panels:

Ross, A., & Stirling, A. (2004a). Deliberative Mapping Briefing 1: Opportunities and challenges for involving citizens. Brighton: University of Sussex.

Ross, A., & Stirling, A. (2004b). Deliberative Mapping Briefing 2: The Deliberative Mapping approach. Brighton: University of Sussex.

Ross, A., & Stirling, A. (2004c). Deliberative Mapping Briefing 3: Deliberative Mapping in practice: the “kidney gap.” Brighton: University of Sussex.

Ross, A., & Stirling, A. (2004d). Deliberative Mapping Briefing 4: Citizens’ panels in Deliberative Mapping : a user guide. Brighton: University of Sussex.

Videos on decision making under uncertainty:

Videos licensed from Natural Resources Wales under the Open Government Licence v3.0. 

Part 1 - Concealed Sensitivity to Framing

Part 2 - Risk, Uncertainty, Ambiguity and Ignorance

Part 3 - Methods for 'Opening Up' Appraisal

Part 4 - An Introduction to MCM

Part 5 - A Demonstration of the MCM Interview or Group Process

Part 6 - Analysing MCM Results

Question and Answer Workshop (after watching these videos)

Where has MCM been used well in practice?

On groundwater development pathways in Sub-Saharan Africa: Bellwood-Howard, I., Thompson, J., Shamsudduha, M., Taylor, R. G., Mosha, D. B., Gebrezgi, G., Tarimo, A. K. P. R., Kashaigili, J. J., Nazoumou, Y., & Tiékoura, O. (2022). A multicriteria analysis of groundwater development pathways in three river basins in Sub-Saharan Africa. Environmental Science and Policy, 138(May), 26–43.

On university policy options for enhancing societal impact: Kuipers-Dirven, R., Janssen, M., & Hoekman, J. (2022). Assessing university policies for enhancing societal impact of academic research: A multicriteria mapping approach. Research Evaluation, December 2022, 371–383.

On policy options to encourage the development and use of diagnostic tests to help manage antimicrobial resistance: Coburn, J., Bone, F., Hopkins, M. M., Stirling, A., Mestre-Ferrandiz, J., Arapostathis, S., & Llewelyn, M. J. (2021). Appraising research policy instrument mixes: a multicriteria mapping study in six European countries of diagnostic innovation to manage antimicrobial resistance. Research Policy, 50(4), 104–140.

On the ecological and social outcomes from agriculture and conservation: Balfour, N. J., Durrant, R., Ely, A., & Sandom, C. J. (2021). People, nature and large herbivores in a shared landscape: A mixed‐method study of the ecological and social outcomes from agriculture and conservation. People and Nature, 3(2), 418–430.

On urban wastewater for agriculture: Purushothaman, S., Patil, S., Vanjari, R. S., & Shwetha, A. R. (2021). Urban wastewater for agriculture: farmers’ perspectives from peri-urban Bengaluru (Working Paper No. 20) (Issue 20). Azim Premji University.

On transport system transition: Sunio, V. (2021). Unpacking justice issues and tensions in transport system transition using multi-criteria mapping method. Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, 96(May), 102887.

On evaluating animal-based foods and plant-based alternatives: Blanco-Gutierrez, I., Varela-Ortega, C., & Manners, R. (2020). Evaluating Animal-Based Foods and Plant-Based Alternatives Using Multi-Criteria and SWOT Analyses. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(21), 7969.

On development towards lower-carbon Indian agriculture: Harriss-White, B., Gathorne-Hardy, A., Rodrigo, G., 2019. Towards Lower-Carbon Indian Agricultural Development: An Experiment in Multi-criteria Mapping. Rev. Dev. Chang. 24.

On strategies to reduce micronutrient deficiencies among children and women of reproductive age in South East Asia: Greffeuille, V., Kameli, Y., Chamnan, C., Chea, M., Daream, S., Winichagoon, P., Butryee, C., Le, B. M., Lua, T. T., Muslimatum, S., Roshita, A., Kounnavong, S., Wieringa, F. T., & Berger, J. (2019). Multi-criteria Mapping of Stakeholders’ Viewpoints in Five Southeast Asian Countries on Strategies to Reduce Micronutrient Deficiencies Among Children and Women of Reproductive Age: Findings from the SMILING Project. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 23, 67–78.

On sustainability of solar photovoltaic and urban mobility experiments in India and Thailand: Raven, R., Ghosh, B., Wieczorek, A., Stirling, A., Ghosh, D., Jolly, S., Karjangtimapron, E., Prabudhanitisarn, S., Roy, J., Sangawongse, S., Sengers, F., 2017. Unpacking sustainabilities in diverse transition contexts: solar photovoltaic and urban mobility experiments in India and Thailand. Sustain. Sci. 12, 579–596.

On appraising foresight scenarios for the long term sustainable development of a small island: Royuela, J.B., Eames, M., Buckingham, S., 2016. ‘Participative foresight scenario mapping’: adapting an MCM method to appraise foresight scenarios for the long term sustainable development of a small island. Int. J. Multicriteria Decis. Mak. 6, 118–137.

On research options to improve nutritional status in sub-Saharan Africa: Holdsworth, M., Kruger, A., Nago, E., Lachat, C., Mamiro, P., Smit, K., Garimoi-Orach, C., Kameli, Y., Roberfroid, D., Kolsteren, P., 2015. African stakeholders’ views of research options to improve nutritional status in sub-Saharan Africa. Health Policy Plan. 30, 863–874.

Lubogo, D., Orach, C.G., 2016. Stakeholder perceptions of research options to improve nutritional status in Uganda. BMC Nutr. 1–11.

On national obesity policy in middle-income countries: Holdsworth, M., El Ati, J., Bour, A., Kameli, Y., Derouiche, A., Millstone, E., & Delpeuch, F. (2013). Developing national obesity policy in middle-income countries: A case study from North Africa. Health Policy and Planning, 28(8), 858–870.

On communal growing activities in the UK: White, R. & Stirling, A. (2013). Sustaining trajectories towards Sustainability: Dynamics and diversity in UK communal growing activities, Global Environment Change, 23(5), 838–846

White, R & Stirling, A. (2014). Resilience in Sustainable Lifestyles Research Project Report, Brighton: SPRU, University of Sussex, December 2014.

On climate mitigation or geoengineering options: Bellamy, R., Chilvers, J., & Vaughan, N. E. (2014). Deliberative Mapping of options for tackling climate change : Citizens and specialists “ open up ” appraisal of geoengineering. Public Understanding of Science, September, 1–18. doi:10.1177/0963662514548628

Bellamy, R., Chilvers, J., Vaughan, N. E., & Lenton, T. M. (2013). “Opening up” geoengineering appraisal: Multi-Criteria Mapping of options for tackling climate change. Global Environmental Change, 23(5), 926–937. doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2013.07.011

On nanotechnology applications in Denmark: Hansen, S. F. (2010). Multicriteria mapping of stakeholder preferences in regulating nanotechnology. Journal of Nanoparticle Research, 12(6), 1959–1970.

On mandatory nutritional labelling: Holdsworth, M., Delpeuch, F., Kameli, Y., Lobstein, T., & Millstone, E. (2010). The acceptability to stakeholders of mandatory nutritional labelling in France and the UK - findings from the PorGrow project. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, 23(1), 11–19.

On agricultural strategies in Kenya: Thompson, J. (2009). Environmental Change & Maize Innovation in Kenya: Exploring pathways in and out of maize, Brighton: STEPS Centre.

A summary of this project: Thompson, J. (2009). Pathways in and out of maize, From the STEPS Centre project: Environmental change and maize innovation pathways in Kenya. Brighton: STEPS Centre.

On alternative trajectories for the hydrogen economy: McDowall, W. Eames, M. (2007). Towards a sustainable hydrogen economy: A multi-criteria sustainability appraisal of competing hydrogen futures, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Volume 32, Issue 18, December 2007, Pages 4611-4626, ISSN 0360-3199,

On counter-obesity policy options across Europe: E. Millstone, T. Lobstein, A. Stirling, L. Mohebati et al, Policy options for responding to obesity: cross-national report of the PorGrow project, report of the EC PorGrow Project, SPRU, University of Sussex, August 2006

A summary of this project: Lobstein, T., & Millstone, E. (2006). Policy options for responding to obesity: evaluating the options, Summary report of the EC PorGrow Project. Brighton: SPRU, University of Sussex. Retrieved from

On health strategies to address ‘the kidney gap’ in the UK: Davies, G., Burgess, J., Eames, M., Mayer, S., Statley, K., Stirling, A., & Williamson, S. (2003). Deliberative Mapping: Appraising options for addressing the “Kidney Gap”, Final Report to the Wellcome Trust. Brighton: SPRU, University of Sussex. Retrieved from

A summary of this project: Burgess, J., Davies, G., & Stirling, A. (2003). Deliberative Mapping: Appraising options for addressing the “Kidney Gap”, Executive Summary to the Wellcome Trust. Brighton: SPRU, University of Sussex.

On GM and alternative agricultural strategies: Mayer, S., & Stirling, A. (2002). Finding a precautionary approach to technological developments–lessons for the evaluation of GM crops. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, 15, 57–71.

Stirling, A., & Mayer, S. (2001). A novel approach to the appraisal of technological risk: A multicriteria mapping study of a genetically modified crop. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 19, 529–555. doi:10.1068/c8s

What are the detailed ways in which MCM differs from comparable approaches?

For appraising social values in nature and ecosystems: Coburn, J. & Stirling, A. (2014) SPRU Report to the SPLiCE Project: A Review of 'Social Appraisal' Methodologies, Brighton: SPRU, University of Sussex, September 2014.

For advancing social justice in the Global South: Gerber, J. F. (2013). Guide to Multicriteria Evaluation for Environmental Justice Organisations, EJOLT Report No.: 08, February 2013.

For appraising UK Government policy options: Dodgson, J., Spackman, M., Pearman, A., & Phillips, L. (2009). Multi-criteria analysis: a manual. London: Department for Communities and Local Government. doi:10.1002/mcda.399

For sustainability valuation: Stagl, S. (2007). SDRN rapid research and evidence review on emerging methods for sustainability valuation and appraisal. SDRN. Retrieved from

An analysis of key related issues in international technology assessment: A. Ely, P. van Zwanenberg, A. Stirling, Opening up technology assessment: new approaches to enhance international development, co-ordination and democratisation,Research Policy, 43(3) 2014, 505–518.

A summary of some of the general policy issues: A. Stirling, A view of ‘Deliberate Futures’, looking at precaution and progress in technology choice – produced by the Sustainable Development Research Network, 2005

Where are some good discussions of the theoretical grounding of MCM?

A short general overview of issues in science advice: Stirling, A. (2010). Keep it complex. Nature, 468, 1029–1031. doi:10.1038/4681029a

A deeper analysis of issues in participation: Stirling, A. (2008). “Opening up” and “closing down”: Power, participation, and pluralism in the social appraisal of technology. Science, Technology & Human Values, 33(2), 262–294. doi:10.1177/0162243907311265

A focus on particular issues in decision analysis: Stirling, A. (2006). Analysis, participation and power: Justification and closure in participatory multi-criteria analysis. Land Use Policy, 23, 95–107. doi:10.1016/j.landusepol.2004.08.010

A summary of some key related issues in technology assessment: Stirling, A. (2011). ‘Opening Up’: New models of technology assessment for development, From STEPS Working Paper 45: New Models of Technology Assessment for Development, STEPS briefing, Brighton: STEPS Centre.


What practical guidance is there to help with MCM?

Coburn, J., Stirling, A., & Bone, F. (2019). Multicriteria Mapping Manual: Version 3.0. Brighton: SPRU, University of Sussex.

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