This paper reports on the design and implementation of a multi-methodology intervention intended to support a budget prioritisation decision by a multi-organisational group tasked with tackling the problem of teenage pregnancy in an English borough. The intervention approach involved the combined use of cognitive/causal mapping and a multi-criteria decision analysis method to develop and prioritise a number of projects aimed at alleviating issues associated with teenage pregnancy. The paper describes and discusses the process of developing and applying the intervention approach, and provides an evaluation of its perceived impact by the client group. Drawing on the rich seam of data gathered over the course of our work with the multi-organisational group, we explore the varying degrees of impact that the mapping and multi-criteria evaluation methods achieved during and after the intervention. Analysis of the intervention data suggests that both methods were perceived to facilitate a different way of thinking and learning. In addition, we find that the mapping and multi-criteria evaluation methods successfully addressed participants' democratic and rational concerns. However, despite these reported positive effects, the full recommendations of the intervention were not implemented. An attempt is made to explain this outcome in terms of both the multi-organisational context within which the intervention took place and the nature of the group task. Directions for further research are then proposed.
- Cognitive/causal mapping
- Group decisions
- Multi-criteria decision analysis