Local community acceptance, a key indicator of the socio-political risk of a project, is addressed through good stakeholder (community) engagement. Discrete choice modeling (DCM) enhances stakeholder analysis and has been widely applied to encourage community engagement in energy projects. However, very little detail is provided on how researchers design discrete choice experiments (DCEs). DCE design is the key step for effective and efficient data collection. Without this, the discrete choice model may not be meaningful and may be misleading in the local community engagement effort. This paper presents a framework for mining community engagement DCE design in an attempt to determine (1) how to identify the optimum number of factors and (2) how to design and validate the DCE design. Case studies for designing discrete choice experiments for community acceptance of mining projects are applied to accommodate these two objectives. The results indicate that the four-factor design, which seeks to reduce cognitive burden and costs, is the optimal choice. A survey was used to examine the difficulty of the survey questions and the clarity of the instructions for the designs. It has, therefore, been proven that the DCM design is of reasonable cognitive burden. The results of this study will contribute to a better design of choice experiments (surveys) for discrete choice modeling, leading to better policies for sustainable energy resource development.


Mining Engineering

Publication Status

Open Access


Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China, Grant SKLCRKF1916

Keywords and Phrases

community engagement; discrete choice experiment design; energy project; survey validation; sustainable development

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Final Version

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© 2023 The Authors, All rights reserved.

Creative Commons Licensing

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Publication Date

01 Sep 2023