Having established that public participation would be appropriate for the decision at hand, the next step is to determine how issues relating to the decision are viewed by:
- the decision-maker; and
- the public and stakeholder groups.
Understanding the history of issues relating to a particular decision from the perspective of both the decision-maker and interested or affected parties is paramount. One way to determine how each of the affected or interested parties view issues relating to the pending decision is to ask them, using any of a range of methods, including, for example interviews, focus groups and surveys.