Lead: Karin Ingold, Universität Bern

Aims and scope

We aim to investigate critical trade-offs that key stakeholders involved in the governance of plant protection products (PPPs) are willing to make between achieving different objectives. Such objectives are, for example, the protection of consumers and of farmers applying PPPs, the protection of pollinators or water organisms such as fish, the economic viability of farming, and job security. Furthermore, we aim to shed light on the role of evidence in stakeholders’ preference construction. To achieve this we will:

  • Identify stakeholders relevant for decision-making and policy implementation;
  • Compile the full range of objectives that national PPP governance must address, and elicit the stakeholders’ preferences in view of achieving these objectives;
  • Analyze collaboration and information exchange among stakeholders, and the impact that these social interactions have on the stakeholders’ preferences;
  • Study how stakeholders’ favored regulation options and information sources are interlinked with their preferences.


We will carry out an online survey among key stakeholders involved in the governance of PPPs. These stakeholders are organizations operating at different decisional levels (national and cantonal) in various sectors and policy fields (e.g., agriculture, health, economy, water management, environment, science, etc.). Methodologically, we will combine different approaches from policy and decision analysis: stakeholder analysis, social network analysis (SNA), and first problem structuring steps of Multi-criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA). With the collected data we will:

  • Generate social networks regarding collaboration relations and information exchange between stakeholders;
  • Assess the difference in preferences regarding the achievement of objectives and the support of policies in different sectors;
  • Study the creation of collaborative and informative ties within the social networks using social network models;
  • Identify possible factors that influence the preferences and relations of authorities and key organizations; as example: to what extent do the trade-offs that stakeholders are willing to make between achieving objectives, or stakeholders’ information sources, influence how they wish to see PPPs regulated in Switzerland.

Expected results

Our innovative combination of policy and decision analysis contributes to a better understanding of the decision problem and the stakeholders’ needs and preferences when it comes to regulating PPPs in Switzerland. Methodologically, we also aim at further developing participatory approaches that allow including the preferences of a broader range of stakeholders in decision-making. Finally, the identification of the key stakeholders will allow composing the focus groups for decision-making workshops using MCDA (see WP 5.2). In these workshops, we will elicit stakeholder preferences in more detail and discuss possible ways to move forward in Swiss governance of PPPs, using the information collected in WP 4.2 as starting point.