Added Value of Joint Action, a workshop methodology

Looking for ways to help stakeholders understand the benefits of multifunctional approaches and joint action? And make the next step towards cooperation? The workshop methodology ‘Added Value of Joint Action’ is developed to help you with this. In a structured and step-wise approach stakeholders find out what they can achieve alone and in cooperation, what the value is of different strategies, and ways for equal sharing of the winnings. The methodology used in this workshop tool is rooted in game theory.

Social dilemma of multifunctional concepts 

Figure 1 Salt marshes in front of a dike contribute to flood risk reduction, biodiversity and recreation. Under ideal circumstances the salt marsh can adapt to changing sea levels.

Multifunctional approaches such as nature-based flood defences and multifunctional dikes combine flood safety with nature, recreation and housing. Combining functions potentially involves a win-win for the parties involved. However often these situations present a social dilemma: cooperation may beneficial from the perspective of the group, but for the individual party cooperation is not the most attractive option. Multifunctional concepts require joint action, but due to present social dilemma’s cooperation will not come about without additional process support. Stakeholders need to become familiar with what can be achieved when they cooperate and also how all parties involved can be satisfied with the chosen alternative.

Who benefits from the workshop?

The workshop is particularly useful in exploration of innovative strategies that are cross-sectoral and multifunctional and in investigating joint action possibilities. And is applicable in the fields of (multifunctional) flood risk management, spatial development and infrastructure projects and can be used by a wide range of stakeholders including governments, NGO’s, and private companies.

What is the result?

After the workshop, participants:

  • Understand perspectives of the different stakeholders in their case
  • Have insight in what they can achieve alone and what they can achieve by cooperation
  • Know the (added) value of joint action and a multifunctional approach for their case
  • Developed a strategic perspective for future actions
  • Improved confidence and trust among participants

How is the workshop organized?

The workshop consists of four parts: 1) introduction, 2) outcome discovery 3) outcome assessment and analysis, and 4) discussion & action perspective.


This ternary plot depicts the minimal and maximal winnings of three stakeholders in a vegetated foreshore for flood risk reduction project. When all stakeholders can earn more than their minimal (i.e. individual) winning, cooperation is beneficial for the group. This situation is visualised by the ‘core’ of the game. The Shapley value is a solution concept in game theory for equal distribution of the winnings. The analysis of this stakeholder-game forms the basis for understanding dependencies among stakeholders and value of cooperation and provides input for discussing joint action.

Do you want to know more about this workshop methodology and find out how it can help in your work? Read about an example case or contact us