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Deliverable 2.1: Stakeholder Engagement and Participation (STEP) Index

The clarity of requirements for implementation bodies to establish partnership agreements and engage stakeholders under the Regulation establishing the Just Transition Fund has been a persistent challenge since its inception. The DUST Project addresses this by developing instruments to evaluate stakeholder participation, a crucial element for the success of Territorial Just Transition Plans and similar place-based policies. Beyond fulfilling a legal mandate, stakeholder participation is essential for knowledge-sharing, governance continuity, and process legitimacy.


The Stakeholder Engagement and Participation (STEP) Index: A tool for measuring involvement in just sustainability transition policies, introduced by the DUST consortium, is a user-friendly Excel-based tool designed to systematically evaluate citizen participation in just transition policies. Based on previous work of Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD) and University of Zurich (UZH), it encompasses 130 evaluation criteria, providing a structured framework to assess the quality and depth of participation. Additionally, 17 indicators offer a nuanced perspective on the effectiveness of the process, and 20 questions facilitate a systematic approach. Two evaluation matrices support users in tracking combinations between engagement strategies and selected communication channels. The application of this tool aims to assist authorities in evidence-based reporting on Territorial Just Transition Plans (TJTPs) and empower NGOs and civil society observers to monitor citizen participation effectively. 

This deliverable has been submitted to the European Commission and is awaiting approval.

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