The Delphi method is used to assess long-term issues (up to 30 years). Regular feedback and anonymity are two key features. Experts reply anonymously to structured surveys and their replies are aggregated and shared within the group. Afterwards, the experts can change their replies. This process is repeated iteratively for multiple rounds allowing the involved participants to reach an expert consensus.

The Delphi method has been so far relatively little used by European regions in the context of RIS3. This is despite that is well-suited for gaining foresight about future development. In related document section, you can find information how Romania and Poland have used Delphi in RIS3.

Overall, the Delphi method consists of the following six steps:

  1. Define a topic for a regional Delphi Foresight exercise e.g. you may use it in connection with scenario building to get expert assessment on regional future outlook or technological development.
  2. Develop a Delphi survey.
  3. Select and invite experts to participate in a Delphi survey.
  4. Run the first round of survey, provide feedback and then repeat this for second and potentially third round of a survey.
  5. Extract the survey results.
  6. Incorporate the results to RIS3 work.

The Delphi process can be carried out with the help of an online tool, eDelphi.org. The guide page assists in using this online tool.