The nominal group technique in ecology & conservation: Application and challenges

J.J.A. Hugé*, Nibedita Mukherjee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The nominal group technique (NGT) is a qualitative method to elicit judgement from stakeholders. This paper reviews its application in the field of ecology and conservation. We aim to identify patterns in methodological variants, topics covered, scope, advantages and limitations of the technique. Although still not widely used, NGT has been used in ecology and conservation to achieve four main goals: to support biodiversity management, to identify stakeholder preferences and attitudes, to prioritize in capacity-building exercises and to explore novel concepts. Most NGT studies have been applied at local level. NGT is quite flexible and has been used in combination with a range of techniques (surveys, with the Delphi method and with multi-criteria analysis, as well as with the collection of ecological data). The amalgamation of individual and collective reflection and the coproduction of knowledge among participants in NGT allows for a depolarizing approach to the study and management of conservation issues.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-41
Number of pages9
JournalMethods in Ecology and Evolution
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • conservation
  • environmental governance
  • nominal group technique
  • participation
  • stakeholders


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