DigiBeSt – Possibilities and limits of digital participation tools for public participation in the site selection process

The project “Possibilities and Limits of Digital Participation Instruments for Public Participation in the Site Selection Process (DigiBeSt)” is dedicated to researching target group-specific participation options for the socially relevant search for a final repository site.

The Federal Office for Safety in Nuclear Waste Disposal (BASE), which commissioned the project is obliged by the Site Selection Act (StandAG) to involve the general public in the final repository siting issue. Against the background of digitalization and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the objective of the project is therefore to explore the possibilities and limitations of digital participation tools for public participation in the site selection process.
To our great pleasure, the project is being carried out in cooperation with the nexus Institute for Cooperation Management and Interdisciplinary Research from Berlin.

Concrete questions that the project addresses are:

  • In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, are there opportunities for digitizing information and deliberation events formerly thought to be “impossible to digitize”?
  • How can young people, who are considered an important target group for participation in the repository siting issue, be engaged in a way that is appropriate for the target group?
  • Which media, tools and platforms are particularly well suited for participation?
  • In what way must information on the process and participation opportunities be prepared, also in order to reach specific target groups?

In order to arrive at the most informative results possible, the research project includes a variety of analytical methods. These methods of analysis include a review of the current state of research on digital participation, an impact study of target-group-specific digital participation by young generations, and a transdisciplinary workshop with experts in digital participation. The results, from which recommendations for action for BASE will be derived, will be summarized in a final report.The project runs for 18 months (01.02.2022 – 31.07.2023).

Further information on the project can also be found on the pages of the BASE (the links lead to the German websites):