Purpose: To systematically solicit and collate expert judgments on a particular topic, which also provides a structured way for the experts to build on each other’s ideas.
Description: Each expert is asked for their judgment on a topic using a questionnaire or interview; this does not require the experts to meet. The responses are collated and summarised and returned to the experts before proceeding with a second round of questions about the topic, often leading to voting on a particular question. The method is very flexible in the topics addressed, number of participants, number of iterations, whether questions are open-ended or structured and so on.
The experts are more likely to be able to come to consensus when there is a larger number of iterations.
The process is often anonymous to prevent anyone from dominating based on their reputation, authority or personality. It also makes it easier for participants to modify or change their assessments.
- Delbecq, A. L., Van de Ven, A. H. and Gustafson, D. H. (1975). Group techniques for program planning: A guide to nominal group and Delphi processes. Green Briar Press: Wisconsin, United States of America. (Full text online): https://sites.google.com/a/umn.edu/avandeven/publications/books/group-techniques-for-program-planning
Examples of the application of the Delphi technique can be found in:
- McDonald, D., Bammer, G. and Deane, P. (2009). Research Integration Using Dialogue Methods. ANU E-Press, Canberra, Australia.
(Full text online): http://doi.org/10.22459/RIUDM.08.2009
On this website information about the Delphi technique is also provided at:
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Posted: October 2019
Last modified: October 2019