Offshore renewables - social impact: two way conversation with the people of Scotland

Findings from a piece of participatory research into the social impacts of offshore wind farms (OWFS) in Scotland. It describes innovative methods used to develop a conceptual framework, based on social values, that enables a better understanding of the social impacts of OWFs.

3 Project Governance

Overview of chapter

This chapter covers the governance aspects of the project specifically:

  • Project management team
  • Steering group
  • Oversight group

Contractor and independent evaluator

The governance of the project, including the way decisions are made, the institutions involved and the allocation of resources, may not be apparent to many of those who participate in dialogue events but can have a major impact on outcomes. Governance refers to how the project was managed, what the structures were and where decisions were made. In terms of the structures, Figure 3.1 shows the management relationships between the groups involved in the project. Marine Scotland and Sciencewise-ERC are the funders of the process (highlighted in bold). There are three key groups: the Project management team; the Steering Group; and the Oversight Group.

3.1 Project management team

Marine Scotland sponsored and led the project, with the close involvement of two main teams: Marine Planning and Renewables and the Marine Analytical Unit (MAU). The Marine Planning and Renewables team provided the Project Manager and a member of staff from the MAU sat on the project management team.

Sciencewise co-funded the project and worked closely with the Project Manager and the Steering Group. Sciencewise’s role was to make sure that the dialogue meets Sciencewise's good practice principles for public dialogue, without limiting innovation and creativity. The Sciencewise representative sat on the project management team.

The project management team directed the day to day work of the project and linked the parts of the project together. They met on a regular basis and liaised with the project team and the evaluator.

3.2 Steering Group

The Steering Group brought together relevant perspectives from within Marine Scotland: the Marine / Offshore Renewable Energy Branch, the Marine Planning Branch and Marine Scotland Analytic Unit. The Scottish Government’s Environmental Assessment team had a strong interest in the outcomes of the public dialogue and also sat on the Steering Group. The Steering Group met formally on a number of occasions through the project, including the Inception meeting. Members were involved as specialists for the dialogue sessions. In addition, the Steering Group was a sounding board for the project management team on reports and materials and was consulted as required.

3.3 Oversight Group

The Oversight Group, set up in May 2015, brought in the perspectives of wider stakeholders: The Crown Estate, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), Scottish Renewables, Edinburgh University (Dr Claire Haggett), the Scottish Coastal Forum, as well as Scottish Government representatives from Onshore Renewables and Community Energy and the Environmental Assessment team. The Oversight Group met twice over the period of the project, in May and August 2015. There was some overlap in membership between the Oversight Group and the Steering Group.

The aim of the Oversight Group was to provide a range of independent perspectives to the dialogue and for the individuals to act as ambassadors for the project.

Terms of reference for the Oversight Group were circulated and agreed by members.

Figure 3.1 Management relationships in the project
shows the management relationships in the project. The diagram consists of 4 boxes. A box in the centre contains details of the steering group. This is linked by two-way arrows to each of the other three boxes. The first box contains details of the oversight group, the second contains details of the dialogue contractors and the third contains details of the evaluation contractors.

3.4 Dialogue contractors

CEP and Pidgin Perfect were responsible for designing and delivering the dialogue materials and workshops.

3.5 Independent Evaluator

All Sciencewise-ERC projects appoint an independent evaluator. Their role is to observe the process and provide reflections through the process to help improve it as well as to gather data from participants and stakeholders on the effectiveness of the dialogue process in meeting both its own objectives and those of Sciencewise-ERC good practice dialogues. The evaluator produces a separate evaluation report[15].



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