THE DELPHI METHOD
The Delphi method is a subjective-intuitive method, which is based primarily on expert estimates, future trends and forecasts for future development. Delphi, however, is also used to identify priorities, to assess the possible scenarios of future developments and to estimate the potential impact of individual measures, whose implementation is being considered. Delphi is widely applied among others in ex-ante evaluations.
The Delphi method is based on multi-round, moderated, indirect communication and correspondence between our agency and the individual survey participants (experts). The indirect form of communication means that individual participants (carefully selected experts) do not communicate with each other (due to anonymity); they are only in contact with the moderator. He formulates and distributes the issues and then collects and summarizes the responses received. In the next round participants are given a request for correction or confirmation of their own default opinion, the addition of any arguments or objections, etc. The process of communicating with experts can be done in many rounds, but there are commonly three to four rounds; participants are always provided at least one opportunity to amend or supplement their initial responses. The key characteristics of this method is the anonymity of experts (to ensure equality and impartiality of views / expert estimates); several rounds involving participants who respond to the anonymously expressed opinions of other experts, which usually leads to a gradual convergence of estimates; corresponding communication method, when experts are allowed sufficient time (usually within a few days to formulate and send their written opinions) to the moderator. In-depth interviews are rarely carried out instead of corresponding communication.
File experts usually includes several dozen individuals; their choice is determined by the goals of the research, but the effort is primarily in the actual investigation by experts, active in the field. The professional competence of participants is an important prerequisite for the inclusion of survey participants.