Comparative Table of Parliamentary TA Institutions
NORWAY - THE NORWEGIAN BOARD OF TECHNOLOGY (NBT)
Work Procedures and MethodsThe Norwegian Board of Technology
employs a range of different methods in our projects, where these five
are considered primary methods: expert groups, consensus conferences,
scenario workshops, focus groups and open hearings. These methods are
flexible and can be adapted for each individual project.
The NBT expert groups are always broadly
constituted. The participants originate from different institutions and areas
of learning, and usually vary in their professional association with the given
topic. An expert group is used to illuminate a current topic, give advice or
provide policy options. The participants are chosen based on their academic
expertise or practical experience in the chosen field.
An expert group will usually meet 6–8 times
during a project, with 4–12 months typically elapsing between the first and
last meetings. A project manager from the NBT will lead the process and do most
of the writing and organising. The Board members will be briefed on the work,
but the making of conclusions and recommendation in a specific project is
normally delegated to the expert group.
CONSENSUS CONFERENCES AND CITIZEN PANELSA consensus
conference is an exercise in practical democracy, and involves those
who seldom have a forum where they can be heard. The participants take
part by virtue of being socially aware citizens. They should not be
experts on the topic under discussion, nor should they have prominent
positions in organised interest groups that are affected by the given
Citizens can contribute knowledge and perspectives that experts
normally do not bring to the table. We are all non-experts in most
areas of life, but we also have experiences and values that we can use
to assess new information.
The NBT has also used and contributed to the development of other
participatory methods such as different citizen panels and citizen
SCENARIO WORKSHOPDiscussion and the exchange of experiences
are the core elements of a scenario workshop. The discussions circle
around a set of scenarios that are portraits of alternative futures in
a given topic. The scenarios may be presented as a movie, lecture,
document or some other form. The purpose of the scenarios is to make
the participants conscious of future choices involving technology, and
encourage them to make critical assessments. Developing new visions and
proposals for action may also be a part of the process.
FOCUS GROUPSA focus group is a type of structured group
interview. The goal is that conversations conducted in a group of 7 to
10 individuals will bring to light more information than by
interviewing participants individually. The participants in a focus
group have special knowledge about or experience with a given topic.
The focus group´s topic is limited in scope and determined by
the interviewer. It is nonetheless important that the discussions are
open enough for the participants to exchange experiences and comment
upon each other´s viewpoints. Herein lays a part of this method´s
strength: the conversations and interaction within the group can bring
to light more information than by interviewing the group members one by
OPEN HEARINGDuring a hearing, individuals or institutions can
give input to a work in progress. Hearings may either transpire in
public with prepared papers dealing with key questions or
recommendations, or in round-table hearings with plenary discussions.
The participants are usually either experts in their respective fields,
decisions-makers or representatives of affected interest groups who we
believe have special knowledge about the topic.
Prior to a hearing, the Board of Technology has usually done
some preparatory work on the topic. As a rule, an expert group has
elaborated a set of key questions or preliminary recommendations, which
the participants at the hearing should comment upon.
Chapter Work Procedures and Methods - all countries
Country Report Norway
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